In the issue, released Tuesday (Nov. 14), the Compton MC touched on his biggest mistake and being dubbed a “conscious rapper.”
“My biggest mistake was watching the other artists’ success and thinking that can be my own success,” Lamar told Forbes. He continued:
Everybody’s their own individual, you know? A lot of the times, like I said, you listen to the radio, you be pushed by what the industry is doing, or what’s popping at the moment. So you go through these stages of trying to figure that out. That hindered me. A long time. But the day I changed my name [from K-Dot] to my actual real name, Kendrick Lamar, and found my true story, that’s when I started getting the looks, and the ears that I wanted.
In regards to the media labeling him as a conscious rapper, Lamar said, “Everybody have they own opinions, but … I always go back to what 50 Cent said, and it always stuck with me. And when he said it, it made an even more valid point.”
He said, ‘We all are conscious, whether you’re doing gangsta rap, whether you’re doing so called conscious rap, whether you doing whatever genre you may in because you have a post, you alive and you’re telling your true feelings … these are your true thoughts and you’re conscious of them, and you’re aware of them. You are conscious, as simple as that.’ When he said that, that inspired me to not only recognize my own influence on what I have with my people.