Dubbed as “the greatest rapper of alive” by the magazine, Lamar exudes sheer candor throughout his in-depth interview, as he touches on Donald Trump, ghostwriters, his ubiquitous single “Humble” and more. While many of his peers have unabashedly torched the newly named president for his recent debacles, Lamar has remained mum on the situation. According to him, touching on Trump’s “miscues” would be equivalent to “beating a dead horse.”
“I mean, it’s like beating a dead horse. We already know what it is. Are we gonna keep talking about it or are we gonna take action?” Lamar boldly asks. “You just get to a point where you’re tired of talking about it. It weighs you down and it drains your energy when you’re speaking about something or someone that’s completely ridiculous. So, on and off the album, I took it upon myself to take action in my own community. On the record, I made an action to not speak about what’s going on in the world or the places they put us in. Speak on self; reflection of self first. That’s where the initial change will start from.”
Lamar also touches on the biggest elephant in the room of hip-hop: Ghostwriting. “I cannot call myself the best rapper if I have a ghostwriter,” the rapper — notoriously known for his own ghostwriting days — suggests. “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.”
One of Lamar’s standout tracks from DAMN. was “XXX,” which featured U2. Later in the interview, Lamar divulges on how he and Bono connected for the powerful record. “We had a [different] record we were supposed to be doing together,” he says. “He sent it over, I laid some ideas to it, and we didn’t know where it was going. I just happened to have an album coming out, so I just asked him, like, “Yo, would you do me this honor of letting me use this record, use this idea that I want to put together because I’m hearing a certain type of 808, a certain drum to it. And he was open to it.”
For the entire interview, you can head over to Rolling Stone.