With twelve studio albums, countless business ventures, and other accolades, the success of Brooklyn rap magnate Jay-Z is quite evident, but according to TDE spitter Kendrick Lamar, at times the rapper’s success is downplayed due to how far he’s made it in the music industry.

The topic of Jay-Z was brought up briefly during Kendrick’s newly-published interview with Bullett magazine. As the Compton emcee commented on Jay-Z, he went on to commend Hov for his accomplishments and criticized those who may have questioned his come up.

“I salute people like Jay-Z,” said Kendrick. “How many tours has he been on? How many verses has he put down? How many interviews? How many radio shows? People forget that. They can’t fathom how a dude from the Marcy Projects is sitting next to Barack Obama, so they make up all types of crazy shit and forget the facts: This nigga dedicated every single day of his life to this, and what he has wasn’t just given to him. It’s no mistake he’s at where he’s at.”

Kendrick also addressed the prominence of gang culture in Compton and the ease in which some people succumb to that particular lifestyle. Instead of giving in to the life choices of those around him, the good kid, m.A.A.d city crafter says he chose to dedicate himself fully to music.

“You’re always around it. It’s easy to get swallowed by it, because it grabs your attention at such a young age—just the thrill of it,” Kendrick explained. “Even cats in the studio were affiliated, so even if I wanted to, I couldn’t turn my back to it. More than anything, it became a question of, What am I going to dedicate myself to? The escape was mental. It’s not necessarily about going to New York or Atlanta. It’s saying, You won’t trap me. I can do something positive with myself.”

Additionally, Kendrick Lamar provided Bullett magazine with a brief, 30-second freestyle. Video of the freestyle can be found below.

Kendrick Lamar // Freestyle from BULLETT MEDIA on Vimeo.

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