Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kendrick Lamar on the August 2018 Cover of Vanity Fair Magazine

On a list that features the top rappers of all time, you can guarantee that Kendrick Lamar who recently won a Pulitzer Prize, will be in one of the top spots. He is the August 2018 cover star of Vanity Fair magazine. On the cover which was shot by Annie Leibovitz, Kendrick is rocking a REIGNING CHAMP hoodie, a H&M t-shirt and CHROME HEARTS jewelry. In the issue, he talks what drives him, how he writes, his parents and more. Continue below to read excerpts from Kendrick's feature and to see images from her fashion spread. For more on Kendrick's feature, visit and pick up a copy on newsstand. 

On how he balances his success & celebrity:
You can get put in an environment that can bring down your integrity and your fight. What gives me an advantage in my upbringing is the duality of seeing one of the most beautiful moments of me being 6 years old, to the most tragic moment of being 13 or 14, and make that connection so the person [listening] can really see the conflict. It was a mindfuck, for sure. I would wake up one morning, and it would be cartoons and cereal and walking back from school. And at 4 P.M., we’d be having a house party ‘til 11 P.M. . .. and people [were] shooting each other outside the door. That was my lifestyle. And it’s not only mine; it’s so many other individuals’. And I wanted to tell that story.

On having a mother & father at home growing up:
It makes a huge difference. It shows you loyalty. When I look around at my classmates and my friends, they all lived with their grandparents. To have a mother and a father in your household—this showed me immediately that anything is possible.

On the violence he raps/sings about in Good Kidd & M.A.D.D City:
That was our world. I remember when good kid came out, the people I grew up with couldn’t understand how we made that translate through music. They literally cried tears of joy when they listened to it—because these are people who have been shunned out of society. But I know the kinds of hearts they have; they’re great individuals. And for me to tell my story, which is their story as well, they feel that someone has compassion for us, someone does see us further than just killers or drug dealers. We were just kids. 

On how he writes:
Execution’ is my favorite word. I spend 80 percent of my time thinking about how I’m going to execute, and that might be a whole year of constantly jotting down ideas, figuring out how I’m going to convey these words to a person to connect to it. What is this word that means this, how did it get here and why did it go there and how can I bring it back there? Then, the lyrics are easy.

Lamar in a 1985 Buick LeSabre outside the New York Expo Center, in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.

Lamar, photographed in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Reigning Champ; T-shirt by H&M; jewelry by Chrome Hearts.

Credit: Vanity Fair

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