Kendrick Lamar Talks Dr. Dre's Influence and Colin Kaepernick at Forbes Under 30 Summit

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Kendrick Lamar during an interview with Forbes Magazine Senior Editor Zack O'Malley Greenburg at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit on Oct. 3, 2017 in Boston.  

It's been a hallmark year for Kendrick Lamar, who celebrated a Billboard 200 chart-topping album in April and went on to launch his highly acclaimed DAMN. Tour, which will take the rapper across the pond for his European trek. As he takes a breather until then, Lamar served as a keynote speaker at Forbes' Under 30 Summit earlier this week where the rapper dished on Dr. Dre's influence, how beneficial his name-change was to his career, and Colin Kaepernick's NFL protest. 

Lamar has long cited Dr. Dre as one of his influences -- the "Humble" rapper interviewed his mentor and N.W.A back in 2015 for Billboard -- and during his conversation at the Forbes Under 30 Summit, he shared how important it was to see artists like Dr. Dre and N.W.A, build successful careers. 

"Dr. Dre himself, he’s always been there as far as a person of inspiration. I mean, come on, N.W.A — these people we watched on TV all day, every day and wanted to be like, inspired to be like," he said. "He looked like us, he looked like my uncles, he looked like my brothers, and just him having that brand in Compton and making it out, that was that influence already there. That’s a different type of mentorship."

The Compton native went on to discuss a mistake he made earlier on in his career and how his name change helped him to become his authentic self. "My biggest mistake was watching other artist’s success and thinking it could be my own success. Everybody’s their own individual and a lot of the times you listen to the radio, and you be pushed by what the industry is doing and what’s poppin’ at the moment," he continued.

"You go through these stages of trying to figure that out. That hindered me for a long time. The day I changed my name to my actual real name — Kendrick Lamar — and told my true story, that’s when I started getting the looks and the ears that I wanted.”

Later on in the conversation, Lamar compares his passion to impact the culture to Colin Kaepernick's NFL protest saying, "And whether the plan works or not, I want to be remembered as that. Same thing as Colin Kaepernick." 

"I'm sure they feel he wants to give up, they think he wants to give up but he wants to stand for something. Simple as that. You don’t look at the moment, whether it’s gonna work or not. No, you look at what the next generation is gonna receive from it and if I quit what I'm doing or I feel like I can't go no longer because I have naysayers or I have people behind the scenes that say I can't do it or I feel a little discouraged, I gotta think beyond the moment." 

Watch the full interview below. 


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