Kendrick Lamar

The NY Times have featured TDE repper Kendrick Lamar, and set the tone by visiting the West Side native during his Barclays center performance; where he was surrounded by many in a private room, with little to no time. As a humble Lamar scanned the many waiting to be in his presence, he gave the times his view on the rap game, and his impact, including his Control verse.

Adriela Batista

“If my edge is dull, my sword is dull, and I don’t want to fight another guy whose sword is dull,” Lamar later told me. “If you’ve got two steel swords going back and forth hitting each other, what’s gonna happen? Both of them are going to get sharper.” He laments what he sees as the impotency that has taken over the rap game. “Everybody that’s in the industry has lost their edge,” he said. “There’s really no aggression. You gotta say things particular, and everything is so soft.” Last August, in a guest appearance on “Control,” a track by Big Sean, Lamar named himself, alongside Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem and Outkast’s Andre 3000, as the best M.C.s of all time. He also called himself “the king of New York” (a big no-no for a West Coast rapper) and sent out a message to his immediate peers: “I got love for you all, but I’m tryna murder you niggas/Tryna to make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas/They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas.” The influential hip-hop magazine XXL called it “the verse that woke up the rap game.”

Lamar approaches his music career with the ambition of an exacting, if sedate, C.E.O. At one point, after he left his Barclays Center dressing room, the crew descended on the catering table, eagerly assembling double-decker sandwiches and raiding the fridge for leftover Gatorade. “I’ve never been on a tour where there’s no booze,” someone grumbled. “I need alcohol.” When I was on the road with Lamar, he didn’t drink, and in general, his crew followed suit. This is part of his commitment to staying focused on his singular ambition: greatness. “There’s a certain hunger that you can sense about Kendrick,” Eminem says. “He raps to be the best rapper in the world. He competitive-raps. That’s one of the things that’s going to drive his career. He’s going to be around for a long time.”

Check out the full article here