In the summer of 2017, renowned music journalist Touré conducted an in-depth interview with Kendrick Lamar, just hours before the rapper took the stage at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. The two discussed a wide range of topics, which included everything from U.S. politics and sobriety to community service and his fourth studio album, Damn. And now, more than the three months after the interview was published in i-D magazine, Touré has released the full audio of the one-on-one via his eponymous podcast series, The Touré Show. And it’s really, really good.
Some of the highlights include Kendrick’s first interaction with President Barack Obama, the book that has shaped his approach to music (The Autobiography of Malcolm X), and how his art has touched people of all races and from all different backgrounds.
“When I went overseas in London, and I hear these kids, these white kids that have no idea of the block that I’m talking about […] they also relate to it in some form or fashion because they have their own personal struggles,” he explained at around the 10:15-minute mark. “[…] People pull their own ideas of what the songs mean to them. But ultimately, that initial standpoint comes from me making songs for my community.”
He continued: “I just so happened to talk to the fans after the shows or at meet-and-greets, and asked them, ‘Why does this inspire you?’ They look at me and look at the story of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City or any of my songs about a kid trying to escape his environment however he can, and they apply it to themselves. […] They’re pulling different things from their own personal lives into the music, and that’s when I knew [the music] was relating further than just my story.”