Kendrick Lamar, one of hip-hop’s most fascinating and enigmatic figures, opened up to W Magazine in a recent interview, sharing how the album challenged him as he trekked through life’s lessons and fatherhood on his latest album, 2022’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
“It’s stuff that I’ve written that’s just now seeing daylight because I wasn’t secure with myself in order to do it… It was really about not being insecure [or] tormented by opinions,” the rapper told W. “When I did this, it was kind of the marker and the growth of everything I’ve always wanted to say. I think that was my purpose of writing my way out of things that I was feeling, from when I was nine years old, all the way up to 35.”
It’s been five years since Lamar’s last project, 2017’s Damn, which spawned hits like “DNA,” “Loyalty,” and his Billboard No. 1 single “Humble.” Since then, the artist has been busy, winning seven Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize and having two children.
Throughout the interview, the Compton rapper noted how crucial it was for his development as an artist to not have anyone influencing him, even his family.
“The reason why I had to make that decision, whether they was for or against it, I just didn’t want the influence. I could have cut corners and got flashy with it and worded my words a certain way — nah, I had to be in the rawest, truest form I could possibly be in order for it to be freeing for me, in order for me to have a different outlook and the perspective on people I’m talking to,” Lamar said. “I had to reap whatever consequences came behind that, and also be compassionate and show empathy if they were hurt by it.”