Kendrick Lamar talks about the west coast rappers that most influenced his style, as well as how Tupac might feel about his music.
The hype around Kendrick Lamar refuses to die. After having a huge 2012, he just performed his recently platinum-certified single “Swimming Pools (Drank)” on SNL, as well as joining the likes of Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and T-Pain by starring in very own digital short. Kendrick is still doing the interview rounds, and stopped into the Rickey Smiley show to discuss his influences, and respect in the rap game.
When asked to name three rappers that have played a role in his style, Kendrick said, “It's probably more of a west coast influence.” He then went on to list a few of the legends that he takes after. “A little bit of Kurupt, Pac, with some of the content of Cube.” the Compton rapper said.
Kendrick spoke about being a fan of Tupac since his childhood, revealing that he was even present for the original “California Love” video shoot with Pac and Dre. “They were in Compton for the first video shoot” said Kendrick, detailing his experience at the first shoot for the video (not to be confused with the second video, which is the iconic desert-shot clip that most are familiar with). “There was a whole bunch of kids there just witnessing it” he said excitedly.
When asked how Tupac may have felt about Kendrick's music, K Dot was fairly confident that Pac would feel he was carrying the torch for him. “I think he would thank me for keeping the legacy alive of speaking on something that's real. Not only to him, but what i feel everybody needs to be listening to."
On a lighter note, Kendrick spoke on why his album has the quality of being a good record to smoke to, even though the rapper doesn't get high himself. He cited the west-coast legends behind the smoked-out masterpiece “The Chronic” for giving him that sound. “I think it's really just the west coast influence. I came up under Dre and under Snoop, and it's just the melodic feel that I can't escape"
On Game's recent defense of his music, Kendrick spoke briefly on the situation. While he described Shyne's comments as “propaganda”, he was gracious towards Game, saying “I think it's dope that people respect my music.”
Watch the full interview below.