And Gets in Some Possible Drake Shots
Kendrick Lamar blasted right past the idea of wack artists on his latest album Damn., feeling content that he wasn’t one, so it wasn’t worth his time. But Rolling Stone pegged him down on the question in a sit-down. They asked the “Loyalty” rapper to define what makes a wack artist wack in a new interview.
“How would I define a wack artist? A wack artist uses other people’s music for their approval,” he said. “We’re talking about someone that is scared to make their own voice, chases somebody else’s success and their thing, but runs away from their own thing.”
Kendrick added that trend chasing and attempting to copy other artists is harmful for hip-hop as a whole.
“That’s what keeps the game watered-down,” he said. “Everybody’s not going to be able to be a Kendrick Lamar. I’m not telling you to rap like me. Be you. Simple as that. I watch a lot of good artists go down like that because you’re so focused on what numbers this guy has done, and it dampers your own creativity. Which ultimately dampers the listener, because at the end of the day, it’s not for us. It’s for the person driving to their 9-to-5 that don’t feel like they wanna go to work that morning.”
The interview drilled down into some behavior that Kendrick might see as wack. They asked how he felt about an artist using a ghostwriter, a topic that has kickstarted a heated beef or two. For his part, Kendrick isn’t entirely against ghostwriters and thinks they can serve a purpose for more pop-focused work.
“It depends on what arena you’re putting yourself in,” he said. “I called myself the best rapper. I cannot call myself the best rapper if I have a ghostwriter. If you’re saying you’re a different type of artist and you don’t really care about the art form of being the best rapper, then so be it. Make great music. But the title, it won’t be there.”