Kendrick Lamar Speaks On Wack Artists (And Future & Drake)
Kendrick Lamar is covering the latest edition of Rolling Stone.
In his interview with the music mag, he defines what makes an artist wack:
A wack artist uses other people’s music for their approval. We’re talking about someone that is scared to make their own voice, chases somebody else’s success and their thing, but runs away from their own thing. That’s what keeps the game watered-down. Everybody’s not going to be able to be a Kendrick Lamar. I’m not telling you to rap like me. Be you. Simple as that. I watch a lot of good artists go down like that because you’re so focused on what numbers this guy has done, and it dampers your own creativity. Which ultimately dampers the listener, because at the end of the day, it’s not for us. It’s for the person driving to their 9-to-5 that don’t feel like they wanna go to work that morning.
One artist Kendrick doesn’t think is wack is his ‘Mask Off’ buddy Future.
“He’s his own genius,” K.Dot says of Future. “I’ve watched him in the studio. The way he comes up with the melodies is [snaps fingers] like that, you know. You have to speak a certain type of language and also have a great study in music – the same way I have – for what he’s done. I’m sure he’s grown up off a ton of R&B. Watching him come up with the melodies, that’s a whole other ballgame, to understand them sonics.”
He didn’t have as much to say about Drake.
What’s your favorite Drake song?
Favorite Drake song [chuckles]. I got a lot of favorite Drake songs. Can’t name one off the back. … He has plenty.
Do you prefer him singing or rapping?
He also addressed ghostwriters:
“I called myself the best rapper. I cannot call myself the best rapper if I have a ghostwriter. If you’re saying you’re a different type of artist and you don’t really care about the art form of being the best rapper, then so be it. Make great music. But the title, it won’t be there.”
What do you think about Kendrick’s opinions on Future, Drake, ghostwriters and what makes an artist wack?
Kendrick Lamar appears on our latest cover. You can read the story in full at RollingStone.com. The rapper discusses his vices, working with Beyoncé on ‘Lemonade,’ his latest album ‘Damn.,’ the future and more. “You can talk about dreams all day and ‘what I want,’” he says, “but you gotta put an action behind it.” Photograph by Mark Seliger (@markseliger)