Kendrick Lamar reveals a lot about his come-up in Variety's cover story.
Kendrick Lamar continues to be one of the few rappers in the game who's story is continuously compelling, despite how many times it's been told. Since making his official mark in the game with GKMC, the California rapper has made himself a household name and someone who's creativity stands out much more than his personal life. In his cover story with Variety Magazine, he explained why chasing hit records had an effect his overall career.
During his time with Variety Magazine, he spoke to the magazine about his career at the time when he went by K. Dot. He says once he shed the name and started going by Kendrick Lamar was the moment when he really started finding his voice. He explains that at that time, he was really aiming to get signed and to do that, he continued to aim to make records that would appeal to the radio.
"Early, early on, I really wanted to be signed. And that was a mistake, because it pushes you two steps backwards when you have this concept of ‘OK, I’ve got to make these three [commercial] songs in order to get out into the world and be heard.’ So there were two or three years where I wanted to be signed so badly that I’m making these same two or three repetitive demo kinds of records, and I’m hindering my growth. The world could have got Kendrick Lamar two or three years earlier if I’d stuck to the script and continued to develop," he said.
At the top of the article, the writer opens it with Kendrick Lamar asking what a "hit record" is. Not by the textbook definition but rather by how people as a whole define it. He even says afterwards that "Alright" was the biggest record in the world due to the fact that it's impact was seen from the streets to the news and everywhere in between.
"Nobody can really justify which one it is, because I’ve heard hundreds of records from inside the neighborhood that were quote-unquote ‘hit records’ and never stood a day outside the community."