Less than three weeks ago, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar received the co-sign of a lifetime: A shout out from rap icon Dr. Dre.
Lamar told Angela Yee during Nov. 18’s Lip Service, ” I don’t know him personally… but he reached out to my people.” He adds, “We supposed to be linking up soon.”
And soon came quickly.
With memories of witnessing 2pac and Dre as a kid on the set of “California Love” clouding his thoughts, Kendrick Lamar recently met with the hip-hop heavyweight. “I sat down with him and he was like, ‘Yeah, I been following you for the past three months. I respect your music, I respect your humbleness, I respect where you taking the city and the type of light you bringing to the city.’ Lamar recalls. “It’s just an honor, man. I was blown away… You never know who’s listening or watching.”
The conversations entailed more than just past-and-future generation gushing, though. The two rap heads chopped it up about blending Lamar’s socially conscious rhymes with Dre’s pummeling production. “Yeah, we talking ’bout it. He’s excited to see what type of element I’ma bring to the table. Hopefully, I bring something a little bit left field where it’s not too out of pocket, but [I] just take it to another level, where he can take me to another level, and I can build his creative juices even more. It’ll be mutual.”
Dr. Dre isn’t the only highly anticipated collaboration buzzing in the hip-hop blogosphere. Fellow lyrical young gun J.Cole had namedropped Lamar in several interviews before the two revealed that they’re working on “top secret shit.” While fans squirm with anticipation over what Lamar and Cole are cooking up, the 23-year-old lyricist remains mum: “It’s a lot of music. I’ma put it to you that way. It might not be just one song.”
With such excitement surrounding Lamar’s upcoming guest appearances and critically acclaimed mixtapes Kendrick Lamar and (O)verly (D)edicated, labels are in a frenzy to sign the indie wordsmith. Kendrick watchful of the industry’s vultures, though.
“It’s demons in [the music industry]. I don’t mean everybody, but you can still tell the ones that don’t give a fuck about you,” Lamar says. “I went into New York; I took about five meetings, meetings with every label. They putting offers on the table, but you know the ones who’s genuine and who really respect your music.” —Niki McGloster