You’ve Never Read A Kendrick Lamar Interview Like This One

Features

/ December 6, 2013

Ever since Kendrick Lamar Duckworth suddenly sprung into the hip-hop stratosphere as one of our most important artists alive, we’ve been inundated with interviews picking the Compton lyricist’s cerebrals. Any and everyone with a voice recorder on their Android has lobbed softballs at K Dot about his favorite cereals or how it feels to “bring the West Coast back.” But this interview is different.

For once, Kendrick is on the other side of the recorder serving up questions. The focus of this role reversal: poet and VIBE alum Shauna Barbosa, a friend of the 26-year-old rapper who, in telling her own truths, discovers even more about rap’s golden child.

Seriously, where are you going to read exchanges like this:

Kendrick Lamar: Who are you?
Shauna Barbosa: That’s a dumb question.
Kendrick: Ahhhh! Yes, It’s not only dumb, but it’s fake deep.

Or this golden nugget:

Kendrick: Do you feel like [rapping is] a God-given talent?
SB: For the special ones.
Kendrick: Anybody can rap. But there are few who have a special gift from God. I feel like I have it. When people ask me how do I come up with these things, I tell them it’s beyond me.
SB: When I write and it’s really good, I think, How am I going to do this again? How can I make someone feel something again?
Kendrick: I used to say that to myself. Like with Section.80. I was like, I have to come up with an album now!? It not only exceeded the expectations of other people, but mine as well.

The conversation is the second that Barbosa has published (their epic initial interview “How To Kill A Spider” once lived on her defunct Let’s Just Eat Cheese site; it now only exists in bites in the corners of Internet caches).

Read Kendrick Lamar and Shauna Barbosa’s latest convo, titled “And That’s As Far As I Got.” here and tell us: Is K Dot the rap-game Dan Rather? —John Kennedy