Kendrick Lamar graces the latest cover of Billboard, and the timing couldn't be any better as the Grammys take place a little over a week from now and the Compton rapper is primed to have a big night. The topic comes up early, with Kendrick reiterating he wants to win all 11 categories he's up for, including Album of the Year for To Pimp a Butterfly, which he believes would be a big moment for hip-hop. “It’s bigger than me. When we think about the Grammys, only Lauryn Hill and OutKast have won album of the year. This would be big for hip-hop culture at large.”
His 11 nominations for the 2016 Grammys bests his previous high of seven in 2014, when he was shut out in every category. “[The Grammy defeats] would have been upsetting to me if I’d known that was my best work, if I had nothing new to offer,” Kendrick says. “good kid, m.A.A.d city is great work, but it’s not my best work. To Pimp a Butterfly is great. I’m talking about the connection the record made. good kid, m.A.A.d city made a connection. But To Pimp a Butterfly made a bigger connection.”
On the subject of a new album, Kendrick says nothing has been recorded yet, but he has an idea or two floating around. “As far as content, what I want to get across, I have an idea. But even that’s still premature. Once I get back in that studio, things evolve into other things.”
Kendrick doesn't use social media too often, and it's a space peers like Drake and Kanye West have excelled in. Don't expect K.Dot to switch up his style to match them, though. “That’s not my talent,” he says. “Those guys, they’re gifted in that department. Hopefully, I’ll get them talents. But for now I’ma stay in my lane.”
He also names Isaiah Rashad, Chance the Rapper, and Joey Bada$$ as younger rappers he looks to who deliver a positive message in their music. "These individuals, they show that we do have some sense. Our generation just needs the proper people to tell us about our problems, about our wrongs and our rights.” Check out the full interview here. Kendrick also reveals his dream collaboration and greatest mentor in the video below.