Dr. Dre’s Beats TV recently caught up with Compton up-and-comer Kendrick Lamar to discuss his rise in rap music and acclaimed recent project Section.80. During the interview, K.Dot talked about how the OGs of the west coast factor into the way he makes music. He explained that not only did he grow up with the likes of Dr. Dr and Ice Cube playing in his household, but that there was a definitive moment in his early life when he decided that he would someday join his Hip Hop idols at the forefront of the west coast subgenre.
“[I’ve been influenced by] everybody from the west coast, of course – Snoop [Dogg], [Dr.] Dre, Pac, [Ice] Cube, the whole Westside Connection, DJ Quik,” he explained. “That’s what was playing in my house, and I always tell this story at my shows that when I was coming up, we always had a lot of parties…and [my mom and my pops] used to play nothing but oldies and gangsta rap. It wasn’t just music; it was an actual lifestyle. I remember saying to myself, ‘I wanna do music and rap just like the west coast legends,’ actually saying that verbatim and looking in the mirror…and it’s coming back full circle now; I’ve just got to live up to the expectations.”
Kendrick Lamar also spoke the fan response to his critically acclaimed project Section.80. He said that he’s happy that so many listeners from his generation connected with his music, but that he’s not going to let the hype get to him. He said that he won’t be satisfied until he’s considered one of the best musicians of his generation across all genres.
“I wanted to make a project for my generation that talked about all the positives and all the ills that have been placed upon [us] and we’ve placed upon ourselves, and it worked,” he said. “People can actually relate to it, so when I go out to do these shows, these kids actually believe in what I talk about because they understand the look it’s been getting from people that I looked up to. That’s something bigger than the words I can express…I love the acknowledgement as far as the music and the stamps [of approval], but at the end of the day, those stamps gonna carry no weight unless I put the work ethic behind it…I wanna make the best music in today’s world, period. Once I do that, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
Check out the full interview below.