LISTENING TO AN INSPIRING BILLBOARD INTERVIEW BETWEEN KENDRICK LAMAR & NWA
How great is this? Today's Hip-Hop legend in the making, Kendrick Lamar interviews the all time Hip-Hop legends, NWA. It's always a pleasure to see today's talent commemorate the legends that made their careers possible. However, NWA's surviving members (Dr. Dre, Ice cube, Ren, and DJ Yella) seemed to be just as big of fans of Kendrick Lamar. Dre says that aside from his personal relationship with Kendrick, he has not only respected his music, but also says his approach and attention to detail is an art in itself. He enjoys hearing the rapper be so detail oriented in his songs and expressing himself exactly how he wants to. Dre’s love for the Hip-Hop music is what has driven him as well. Ren and Dre also talk about how Pusha T, Kendrick and Drake are some of their favorites as well.
Kendrick wondered how they were all able to keep their relationships strong through all the ups and downs that the music business industry brought them. They said that there was unspoken pact way back when that they would not let the industry change who they really were. They are family. And this was evident over 25 years later in this interview. They seem to take pride in the fact that they remained themselves through their many trials and tribulations. Kendrick asks how they were able to balance their lifestyle with their family. Ren says he keeps his family separate because there are too many fakes in the game and he doesn’t want his family exposed to that. Cube talks about maintaining the balance. His sons want to become more infused into the business. He tries to give them the knowledge and provide them with an avenue, but he says “it comes down to their talent and their hunger and that they keep it in perspective too. Family is family and this is business.” Dre says how he functions is kind of a little bit of what Ren said and Cube said. He says ”I have to protect my family and keep them away from all the bullshit, but at the same time they’re very supportive of his passions.”
Having a hit record, being in the studio, and hitting the stage are the three most important things to an artist, says NWA and Kendrick. Kendrick also says: “Me being a student..One of your offspring …Anything I do comes from what yaw have done.” I can’t help but think how amazing to see the respect a youngin like Kendrick has for his predecessors. After all, Hip-Hop culture is more about expressing yourself and coming together as a culture than beefing with one another.
He later asks how they think NWA changed the history of music? (I think this was the most important question of the entire interview) Cube says “NWA not only changed the history of music, but they changed pop culture all around the world because they made it alright for artists to be themselves.” Cube talks about the depths of their influence. Shows like Southpark to reality shows bleeping out curse words all stemmed from NWA telling the world it was ok to be yourselves. If you curse, you curse. If you ain’t gangster, you don’t have to pretend in the studio.
It’s dope how they seemed to never care if they blew up in the beginning. NWA was more focused on making great tracks for their neighborhoods to bump. That is why there is so much heart in NWA compared to the plethora of artists in the industry now. Most artists now seem to be trying so hard to make-it, that they sometimes loose focus on what they are making and why they are making it. This interview was very inspiring and reminds me that as an artist, the most important thing we can do is being fearless in truly expressing ourselves.