How Kendrick Lamar Finally Overcame The Pressures Of The Industry
The Compton MC also cited Dr. Dre as a major influence and offers a little advice for aspiring rappers.
Boston, MA – Kendrick Lamar sat down for an interview at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston on Tuesday (3 October). Over the almost 28 minutes of Q&a, the Compton native touched on topics ranging from Top Dawg Entertainment and Dr. Dre to the industry of the pressure he initially felt when you try to launch his career. He admitted that once he changed his rap moniker K-Dot for his first and second name, the takeoff (born Kendrick Lamar Duckworth).
"My biggest mistake was to see the artist's success and the thought that I could be my own success," Lamar said. "All the world is his own person and a lot of the times you listen to the radio, and be driven by what the industry is doing and what is poppin' in the moment. You go through these stages of trying to figure it out. That hindered me for a long time. The day that I changed my name to my real name — Kendrick Lamar — and I told my true story, that is when I began to receive the eyes and the ears that I wanted."
Now, the seven-time Grammy Award winner is one of the top leaders of contemporary artists, but it all started with a dream. He explained how Dr. Dre and N. W. a gave him the confidence to come out of Compton and cited Dre as a major influence in his career.
"Dr. Dre, he has always been there as far as a person of inspiration," he said. "I mean, come on, N. W. a — these people that you saw on the TELEVISION all day, every day, and I wanted to be as inspired. It seemed to us, he looked like my uncles, who looked like my brothers, and only to him, having that brand in Compton, and that is, that it was that influence that is already there. A different kind of mentoring."
Added a little bit of advice Dre gave him, "You have to keep working. You're going to make mistakes along the way, but you have to ask questions. That is something that I am learning now. I don't know everything. I have to ask questions. I'm still fairly a new cat, soon to be a man of business."