During Los Angeles’ All-Star Weekend, Kendrick Lamar sat down with Billboard to discuss a range of topics including good credit, his stance on whether or not he’d hit the court if NBA commissioner Adam Silver asked him to join the celebrity All-Star game, and his relationship with Kobe Bryant.
On his special friendship with Kobe he told Billboard,
I think from afar, we both have this willpower of finding our how far we can max our potential in what we can do. I think once you have that curiosity, it’ll keep you challenged, it’ll keep you motivated and it’ll keep you elevated. That’s what he’s done with his career, he maxed it out to this fullest on the court. Now, he’s off the court and he’s finding a whole new love for something, and he’ll continue with that concept and that same idea. I think that’s what we share the most.
The rapper, who curated Black Panther: The Album for the Marvel Studios film, Black Panther (which made a record-breaking $387 million in global sales), also mentioned the importance of creating ground-breaking music videos. Lamar cited Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes as the inspiration behind his own visuals.
“I think from the jump it’s always been crucial to me. You know, just being a kid watching BET, I’d be on the phone with Dave — you know my partner that does the videos with me — and we’d be watching Missy Elliott videos back in high school, and Busta Rhymes videos. They were always big inspirations.”
He went on explaining,
“So by the time we got to the point where we can mass produce visuals on that level, we said to each other “We all in,” and that we’ve been waiting for this moment. So, I think it’s something that always inspired us to do it, just being a student and always appreciating somebody being willing to put full impact and full ideas not only into the songs, but when you’re watching the songs.”
Lamar ended the interview discussing the ‘King of the West Coast’ crown being passed down to him years ago by west coast rap legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Game. And the future moment when it’s his turn to pass down the torch to another passionate, talented rapper.
“I’d pass it down and give it to another young boy that has that same passion that can carry that [throne]. But right now, I feel good. I’ll let y’all know when the final years is coming up, when I’m like, “OK. This kid is it. He’s from the city. He’s it. He got it.”