Kendrick Lamar and Rick Rubin have both made undeniable impacts on hip-hop. Surprisingly, though, the pair had never met—until now. Kendrick appears on the latest cover of GQ Style, and for the cover story, the magazine brought K-Dot and Rubin together for an interview. It also apparently led to a collaboration between the two, as the duo ended up in the studio together at the end of the interview.
Kendrick met with Rubin at the legendary producer’s own Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California. GQ got the pair together and let Rubin ask Kendrick Lamar whatever he wanted, which really opened up the discussion. They talked about Eminem, Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, To Pimp A Butterfly, and other things related to music, but they also discussed inspiration, integrity, and meditation.
When it comes to music, Rubin noted how “interesting” it was that Kendrick is like “a throwback to when lyrics mattered.” Today, Rubin explained, so much of rap is “about vibe and swag and personality, and less about words. And it sometimes sounds like even the MC doesn’t know what he’s saying on a lot of today’s records.”
In response, Kendrick explained how he got clarity “just studying Eminem when I was a kid.” When he started, “I had a love for the music, but it was curiosity.” Hearing The Marshall Mathers LP for the first time, Kendrick remembered wondering, “How’s his words cutting through the beat like that? What is he doing that I’m not doing, now that I’m into it?” He called Em “impeccable” and said he wanted to learn his skills “through experience and time.”
Source: Complex | MAC MCCANN