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We Asked Kendrick Lamar If He Was The New 2Pac

And if he's a fan of Spongebob.

Compton native Kendrick Lamar has had the hip-hop world by it's balls lately, with indie release Section 80 romancing stoney-faced rap snobs most of last year. BUT, he's still got his debut album to drop under the watchful eye of mentor Dr Dre (no big deal) and that's all on top of bringing in the rest of West Coast mega-group Black Hippy, alongside the likes of Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.

So, before he got super famous, I sat down with him to talk about his California mind state and some prophesizing cheese dreams.


Noisey: Hey Kendrick [Noisey goes for handshake, Kendrick leans in for a hug] AHHHH, a hug!

Kendrick: Yeah, a hug!

So, I heard you're a big cartoon fan. What's your all time favorite?

It varies through the week, umm, I said Dennis the Menace last week umm.

How about SpongeBob? Do you like my new SpongeBob rucksack?

URGH NAW! Not SpongeBob!

Are you kidding? Me and you are gonna fall out.

I don't watch SpongeBob, I was more into Doug

Doug was the man.

It was Doug and the Rugrats back in the day… Doug was the homie.

ANYWAY, is it true that 2Pac visited you in a dream and showed you the meaning of life?

Haha. Nah, the dream was really about making music that moved people and keeping that alive, same way Pac did and Big did. Just keeping that alive, that's why I went about making Section 80 with the intentions of connecting with my generation. And it did just that.

People are calling you the new 2Pac anyway, how do you feel about that? Well, I'm a student of the game. I look to some of my favorite rappers; like Eminem, he's probably one of the best lyricists of all time, then you got Jay-Z who has a real conversational type of way of flowing, Nas is the storyteller and Pac's got aggression My sound is from me practicing all those flows and all those different styles. I came into my own niche whether I like it or not. My voice is already distinctive as hell, so I stand out on a track anyway, you can hear my voice before you hear anything else. I'm blessed for that.


You did a Drake show recently to a pretty hefty audience. Do you want that kind of glitz and glamor he brings in?

Nah, not really. I'm just a person trying to fight the temptation. Me and Drake come from two different worlds, but what brings it together at the end of the day is that he makes music that people can feel and move to. The music is as real to him and it is to me.

On the flipside, your song "Hiii Power" was all about the total opposite of that lifestyle.

It's heart, honour and respect, it stands for my community you know… that's what we stand for rather than being conflicted with what these people in big houses want us to stand for.

So it's pretty important to you, to give back to where you came from?

Yeah, kids when they grow up, they're always looking to sport as their first dream. It's an outlet, so I'm using my stepping stone from music, to help kids branch out and do those types of sporting activities by reinstalling functioning community centres. That's what I want to give that back to my community.

Did you wanna be a baller, shot caller?

Hell yeah… but I didn't' grow no taller than 5 ft 6.


I still hoop though!

Thanks Kendrick!

Follow Bwalya on Twitter @Bwalya2