Kendrick Lamar Speaks About His Grammy Loss & The Price of Fame with Raw Honesty

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Kendrick Lamar graces the cover of the latest edition of XXL. Rather than do an interview or a standard profile piece, the publication allowed Kendrick to convey his thoughts in his words and his words, only. There were no questions and presumably no edits; just Kendrick raw and unfiltered. The eloquent MC took full advantage, opening up on a litany of topics including being insecure about good kid, m.A.A.d city at the time of its release, how he’s handled fame, why he doesn’t play his music for others until the body of work is complete, what his art means to him and much, much more. For the first time, he also speaks directly about how he felt about losing in the Best Rap Album category at the 2014 Grammy Awards. This is as deeply personal as you will hear Kendrick…without listening to his music. Check out some excerpts of the article below, as well as a link to the full piece which is a must read for Kendrick fans.

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On the Grammy Awards…

“I thought I was going to win Best Rap Album at the Grammys. I put a lot of work in on my album and the biggest thing for me is knowing that it was basically an underground album. It didn’t have big No. 1 records on it and there wasn’t really any commercial hits. It was great songs and I think the message behind it reached as many listeners and believers as a super mainstream album. So for me, when you’re saying, “rap,” that would be my definition of something that deserved an accolade. Yep.”

What his art means to him…

“This is more than just music for me. This is actually a piece of me. I’m obsessed with it. And that’s how I take it. When I make my music, it comes from a genuine space where I’m already spreading myself wide to the world. So during my process in creating it, that time is for me, personally. That’s for my heart, those are my memories that helped me up with these lyrics and get inspiration. That was my memories. Taking those inspirations and going into that booth, that’s something that I hold dear.”

His insecurity around good kid, m.A.A.d. city

“I was nervous because I didn’t think the people would understand it. And I get a call from Pharrell. He said he had a copy of the album and it’s amazing. And I was like, that call was right on time because that was when I was feeling super insecure about it. Pharrell said, “Never feel that way again. When that little negative man come behind your head, always follow your first heart, and that was your first heart, to put the album out like this.” This is his words verbatim, he said, “Watch what’s gonna happen.””

Click here to read the full article.

Related: Kendrick Lamar World Premieres a New Song on The Colbert Report (Video)