Kendrick Lamar Tells Rick Rubin: ‘I Got My Clarity Studying Eminem’ [WATCH]
One is a hip-hop legend who was instrumental in bringing rap music from the streets to the radio, and the other is a legend in the making who made back-to-back albums that are both masterpieces.
We're talking about Rick Rubin and Kendrick Lamar, who sat down for a conversation about music, lyrics and K Dot's influences. The meeting was put together by GQ magazine, since the TDE artist is on the cover of its current issue.
At one point during the discussion, Rubin said that a lot of today's rappers have replaced clever wordplay with image, and he praised Kendrick for doing the opposite.
"It's really interesting now with what's going on in hip-hop," said the former Beastie Boys producer. "It's almost like you're a throwback to when lyrics mattered. So much of hip-hop today is about vibe and swag and personality and less about words ... So it's interesting to hear the sort of clarity and depth that you go into lyrically."
Kendrick then said that Slim Shady himself had a lot to do with his lyrical approach.
"I got my clarity just studying Eminem when I was a kid," he explained. "How I got in the studio was all just curiosity. I had a love for the music, but it was curiosity. The day I heard The Marshall Mathers LP I was like 'How does that work? What is he doing? How is he putting his words together like that?"
Toward the end of the conversation — where Rick played the interviewer and Kendrick the interviewee — the two decided to go into the studio and create some new material together.
Evidently, all that talk about music, lyrics and songwriting got the two going creatively, and they didn't want that feeling to go to waste.
You can check out their interesting convo in the video above.