As part of’s “Origins Of Excellence” series, writer Andreas Hale spoke with Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar about responsibility in music, West Coast pressure, and fellow rapper Jay Rock.

The interview kicked off with Kendrick speaking on the heir of responsibility he feels he has as a Hip Hop artist with a younger generation, including younger siblings, looking up to him.

“Most importantly I know that I have a lot of responsibility on my back. My family is really looking up to me to be the one to actually put our history on a pedestal because man we just had nothing but negativity as far as past generations goes,” Kendrick explained. “I’m the first to really come out and do something real positive. Make us look good. Not as me being selfish but as far as my little brothers and my younger cousins. Do something for them.”

When asked about West Coast pressure Kendrick revealed that he doesn’t feel any pressure from anyone because of the fact that both himself and others know what he’s capable of musically.

“There’s no pressure because I know what I’m capable of. I think they know what I’m capable of. I worked hard enough to where I can say I’ve developed my craft. Where I can compete amongst the elite.  And continue to make positive music in a creative space that I enjoy,” said Kendrick.

Towards the end of the interview Kendrick spoke on his relationship with rapper Jay Rock, their chance meeting at a studio, and how quickly things fell into place from there.

“I know I ran into Jay Rock a lot of times because I went to a school in Compton, a high school called Centennial. And Jay Rock used to come up there and beat up on nigga’s and shit like that…It just so happened we was in the studio that I had went to one day, fell in, we did our record like the next day,” the rapper explained. “It was God willing and after that Ab-Soul fell in, Q fell in. It was just one of them things man where it was inevitable. Talent was blowing up in there and it seemed like it just attracted more talent and we knew what to do with it. And now we just branding our own individual acts, you know what I mean, as they own entity.”

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