Kendrick Lamar is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone, and the rapper goes deep in the accompanying interview to cover everything from his latest album, “DAMN.”, to his unexpected collaboration with Bono.
“We had a [different] record we were supposed to be doing together,” says Lamar of the U2 frontman, who appears on the “DAMN.” track “XXX”. “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 honour 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.”
In the interview, Lamar also talks about collaborating with Beyonce on “Lemonade”, discussing what he learned from working with her.
“How particular to be about your music. She’s a perfectionist,” he explains. “Think about the BET performance. She was very particular — the lighting, the camera blocking, the transition from the music to the dancing. It was confirmation of something I already knew.”
In addition, Lamar opens up about his struggles with depression, noting that he’s in a good place right now. “Um, as of now, I’m cool. I won’t say I’m content. I don’t want that word. I’m not satisfied yet,” he says. “But as far as having a sense of personal stress to that level, no. That’s a good space because I can now listen to my listeners’ struggles and help them.”
Lamar touches on the pitfalls of fame, and how he’s been able to avoid self-destructing after tasting success.
“Oh, no, that’s easy,” he says. “Especially in this lifestyle. Everything is at your reach, whatever you want, whatever you need. When them cameras is on you, anything you need. But who you really are is when the lights cut off. It’s all about how much discipline you have.”
When asked if he knew that Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” was (reportedly) written about her long-running feud with Katy Perry, Lamar said he had no idea. “On the record, no. Which makes it even more funny now, for sure. That’s far beyond my concern,” Lamar continued. The rapper was featured on a remix of “Bad Blood” and starred in the music video alongside Swift and her squad.
“I have to stay away from that, for sure. That’s some real beef,” he added.
You can read more with Kendrick Lamar in the latest issue of Rolling Stone.