Kendrick Lamar Talks His Generation's Issues, Ice Cube Inspiration
K-Dot speaks on what inspired him to veer in a political direction with his newest album.
Kendrick Lamar recently dropped his new album Section.80, which is framed around the shortcomings of his generation and the products of the Ronald Reagan administration. Speaking with Brooklyn Bodega, the Compton, California native explained that his frustration with the generation’s apathy prompted him to put his pen to pad.
“I was really just sitting back in my house and thinking about why my generation is so fucked up. Why is all my homeboys locked up or dead? I’m probably the last, of like ten of us, that’s really survived and can provide for them and their kids,” he said. “None of my friends have fathers. They momma was on crack. They stay with they grandma. That’s the story of everybody’s life. Period. It’s just more on my generation because that’s the era when it really cracked down on it. I just wanted to make an album about it. I went into the whole thing as a mixtape but it was coming out so crazy that I was like, ‘You know what, I’m gonna put the name on it. I’ma slap it on there.’ Whatever y’all wanna call it, it’s gonna be good music at the end of the day. And it worked.”
His political leanings have drawn comparisons to fellow Los Angeles, California native Ice Cube, who addressed societal ills with N.W.A. and in his solo career. For K-Dot, the similarities have a basis.
“I think a mission I took from Cube was the raw element of [Los Angeles] but not glorifying it. Cube was telling a story. That’s why a lot of people accepted him and really appreciated his music because it was raw. He was overdoing it to where it sounds like a cliche movie but it was actually real life. From the people he grew up around; from the experiences he had; from everybody else’s experiences. And that’s me, man. I’ve been alive 24 years and seen a lot of shit, man. A lot! I just want to spread that message, man, and hopefully it’ll bring a better light to the city.”
Read the full interview over at Brooklyn Bodega.