Kendrick Lamar
Billboard

A Humbled Kendrick Lamar Interviewed His Musical Inspiration, N.W.A.

Kendrick Lamar plays journalist to interview one of his idol rap groups for 'Billboard' magazine.

Unless you're buried under a rock somewhere, you should be fully aware that it's currently N.W.A. season. With Straight Outta Compton bombarding theaters this Friday (August 14), the living members of the L.A. supergroup Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella (Eazy-E died in 1995) and the characters that played them—Corey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr. and Jason Mitchell, respectively—have been hitting the magazine circuit.

READ: Throwback Jams: Straight Outta N.W.A.

For Billboard's coverage, the mag tapped Kendrick Lamar to play interviewer for the story. Lamar, noticeably humbled and happy to be there, talked to the film's rap royalty about how they functioned as a unit in their prime, how they feel about his generation of artists, being a fan of Pusha T, the studio being addictive and how they remained authentic so many years later. Not before letting them know how honored he was to talk to the people that influenced his career so heavily. "I'm tripping right now," he told them. "Man, I'm bugging."

Take a look at some of the conversation before checking out the full cover story and spread here:

Kendrick Lamar: How do you think your music changed the way the world viewed our culture and our community?
Ice Cube: Unless you come from Compton, it's not a world you're privy to. Our music let you visit Compton from a safe distance.
Dr. Dre: We gave the suburban kids an opportunity to get up close.
Ice Cube: Now you care. You heard what's going on in the hood, and you're interested. Now Compton means something to you. Now you pay attention. We were able to shed light on some of the bullshit that was going down. We presented it in a way that you could digest, comprehend and sympathize with what we were going through.
Dr. Dre: If we had done it softer, it wouldn't have gotten the attention. It wouldn't have worked.
DJ Yella: The truth is that there wasn't much competition. There was the East and the West, but there was really no West before us. We came in so different, so real, that we were immediately heard.

Did you have any doubts that you would be accepted?
MC Ren: I don't think we really cared.
Dr. Dre: We had no idea we'd blow up this major. You see, every time we went into the studio we were only trying to make tracks that would rock our neighborhood. Our goal was to be local stars.
Ice Cube: We didn't think the world cared about gang-banging and dope-dealing in L.A., Compton, South Central, Long Beach and Watts. The hub of hip-hop was the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem. We were on the fringes. And that was OK with us.
Dr. Dre: Imagine this: We made Straight Outta Compton in six weeks, and that's without working weekends. Twenty-five years later, and here's a big-ass Hollywood movie carrying the same name. It's unbelievable.

READ: Meanwhile Oprah Saw “Straight Outta Compton” And Thought It Was ‘Powerful’

As one of your offspring, anything I do comes from what y'all have done before me. I'm curious to know how you feel about my generation of artists.
MC Ren: I like a few. I like you.
Dr. Dre: You're No. 1 on my list because of the care and attention you bring to your tracks and the precision you bring to your sound. There are a few people out there I listen to and respect.
MC Ren: Pusha T.
Dr. Dre: Definitely Pusha T.
MC Ren: I'm not saying this because you're here, Kendrick, but I like your song "Cut You Off." I've been listening to you for a minute.

Thank you. Now I'm wondering, is there anything my generation should build on and bring back to the game?
Ice Cube: That's tricky, man. An artist has to do it like he feels it — not because he should, or someone else says he should. Hip-hop got too focused on results and record sales. Sales have nothing to do with the art you create in the studio.
Dr. Dre: When we started out, it wasn't for money. It was for the love of music. You treat her right, and she'll treat you right. If your only aim is money, your time will be limited.
DJ Yella: We just went in there and did what we wanted.

READ: 6 Game-Changing Groups That Are Overdue For A Biopic

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

ICONOLOGY: Missy Elliott Dropping Collection Of New Songs Tonight

Missy Elliott has had an incredible 2019.

The superstar is not only finally receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 MTV VMAs this coming Monday (Aug. 26), the Virginia native also became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame and received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College Of Music. She's celebrating her standout year with her longtime fans by releasing new music.

ICONOLOGY is a collection of new songs that are meant to make the listener throw it back to the times when music made us want to move. She revealed the news on social media.

"This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful," she wrote on Instagram." THANK YOU for allowing me to smell the roses. You, my fans, and God are the reason I am here and have celebrated every milestone with me!... Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott #Iconology."

We're hoping there are some eye-popping videos to accompany these new songs. Check out her post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful. THANK YOU for allowing me to smell the roses. You, my fans, and God are the reason I am here and have celebrated every milestone with me! So, I have a SURPRISE for you... let’s continue the celebration at midnight tonight…I’m dropping a collection of new songs! Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott #Iconology

A post shared by Missy Elliott (@missymisdemeanorelliott) on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:00am PDT

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Lizzo Reacts To Hillary Clinton's "Truth Hurts" Tweet

Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” may be over two years old, but it’s proven to be her most impactful hit yet. The track gained steam after being featured in Netflix’s Someone Great, and currently sits at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also garnered the attention of one of the biggest names in politics.

A video Lizzo posted on Twitter features Hillary Clinton and other former Presidential hopefuls standing and saluting the flag. While we may expect the National Anthem to play, “Truth Hurts” blares over the speaker instead.

Shortly after the video was posted, Hillary Clinton (or at least a very in-touch intern of hers) replied, tweeting out the song’s popular lyrics “I just took a DNA test, turns out…”

“@hillaryclinton just confirmed Truth Hurts is 100% the new national anthem... have a great day,” Lizzo wrote on Instagram.

The musician opened up about practically quitting music after “Truth Hurts” failed to take off initially.

“I remember thinking, ‘If I quit music now, nobody would notice. This is my best song ever, and nobody cares,’” she told PEOPLE. “I was like, ‘F**k it, I’m done.’ And a lot of people rallied; my producer, my publicist and my family, they were like, ‘Just keep going because this is the darkest before the dawn.'”

She also recently teased a remix to the song with DaBaby.

"I just took a DNA test, turns out..."

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 21, 2019

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@hillaryclinton just confirmed Truth Hurts is 100% the new national anthem... have a great day 😀

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on Aug 21, 2019 at 7:29am PDT

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Drake Faces Lawsuits Over 'Nice For What' And 'In My Feelings'

A rapper by the name of Sam Skully is suing both Drake and Big Freedia for alleged use of his beat for the songs “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What.”

Per TMZ, Skully (real name Samuel Nicholas III) claims that a portion of his 2000’s song “Roll Call” was used in the popular song “In My Feelings.” He also alleges that “Nice For What,” which features Big Freedia, uses another one of his stolen beats.

“In the docs, Sam Skully claims he published the beat on a CD he released in New Orleans way back in 2000, but says he didn't know his work had been stolen until years later ... when Drake and Big Freedia released songs that started climbing the charts,” reports the site.

“Nice For What” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018, as did “In My Feelings.” The latter track remained there for 10 weeks and was associated with the highly-popular “In My Feelings” challenge.

Skully is also reportedly suing Asylum Records, Cash Money Records and Republic Records for damages.

Continue Reading

Top Stories