Kendrick Lamar on the Biblical 'Last Days' Being Near: 'I Truly in My Heart Believe That'

Ramona Rosales
Kendrick Lamar photographed on Dec. 3, 2014 at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Ca.

One thing you may not realize about Kendrick Lamar -- that Jesus chain on his neck isn't just for show.

While speaking with Billboard for our latest cover story, the rapper admits he thinks the rapture is near.

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"We're in the last days, man -- I truly in my heart believe that. It's written. I could go on with Biblical situations and things my grandma told me. But it's about being at peace with myself and making good with the people around me."

But that's not to say he's throwing in the towel on the physical world -- Kendrick is always working hard to better himself. In fact, he says the "I love myself" chorus of "i" was a self-conscious effort to make himself happier.

"That's a psychological trick I wanted to play on myself. Now that I put this song in the atmosphere, what's going to happen? I have to perform it every night for the next three years when we go on tour. Every time I'm in a weird mood or something goes on at home that I can't handle, I've got to perform it anyway."

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Lamar also talked about Ferguson, his experience with police and why he thinks critics should let Iggy Azalea "do her thing." Read Billboard's full Kendrick Lamar cover story Friday, Jan. 9.