What’s the most regrettable trend you’ve found yourself following?
KENDRICK: Prior to Section.80, I was following what was on radio and TV. Then I came to realize that I didn't stand out at all. So even though it was a regret, it kinda molded me into the artist I am today. There were specific records that were spinning on the radio a whole bunch, and I went to A&R meetings and they were like, make this song. I'd come back next week and a whole 'nother sound would be out. I think it was Field Mob "Sick of Being Lonely." You remember that record?
[All laugh] Wow, a K Dot version of that song?
KENDRICK: And that was a good record, too. It felt good.
Miguel, you have any trend-chasing fails?
MIGUEL: Man, all I have to say is Google "Miguel, `Getcha Hands Up'." [Laughs] Just look at that shit, you'll see. It was shit you wouldn't expect me to do. I was just a little kid, impressionable.
As dominant as “Adorn” was for much of last year, it seemed like once Frank Ocean dropped the bomb on Tumblr about his past relationship with a man, that he was the new “It” guy. Did you ever feel eclipsed?
MIGUEL: I don't know if the word is eclipsed. [Long pause] That's a really tough question to answer, man. In all reality, Frank Ocean took a big chance the way that artists are supposed to. I mean, even his album doesn't sound like mine or anyone else's. So sonically and how he writes and what he's writing about and how he chooses to express himself vocally, all his choices are very unique, and I appreciate that about him. Not only did his announcement overshadow my music, but it overshadowed his as well. The general public was in awe and championing him for being brave enough to make that announcement publicly. I congratulate him for his successes. I would love to hear more of his music. He's one of those artists that's being himself and pushing boundaries. I gotta celebrate that.
Who’s the artist that keeps you on your toes? Pushes you to go harder?
KENDRICK: My partner J. Cole is always keeping it to the point where you have to show and prove. My partner Drake kills it.
MIGUEL: What's fucked up about R&B is that that camaraderie doesn't exist. I don't really know why.
KENDRICK: It definitely don't.
MIGUEL: I wish I could be like "my partner" or "my homie," but it's not really like that. You could have a 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and A$AP Rocky record; they're all different, but they're new and dope. You can have that and everyone's confident in their own uniqueness and appeal. I hope we can do that. In R&B, I have to pay attention to every male artist. Usher is a friend. Vocally there's no one fucking with Usher right now in mainstream R&B. I'm always paying attention to his riffs, 'cause he's always pushing himself. I've never heard Usher do one take of vocals the same. He's insane. Obviously I'm paying attention to Frank or the Weeknd. Jesse Boykins, who is a friend as well, is another artist who's doing something different, fresh and new.