Kendrick Lamar is opening up about his star-studded collaborations and his super-popular new album

By Char Adams
August 09, 2017 06:50 PM

Kendrick Lamar has spent the last six years cementing his status as one of the world’s greatest rappers (as evidenced by Section 80, To Pimp a Butterfly and his latest album DAMN.), but in the midst of his quest for total hip-hop domination, the rapper has found time to work with some of music’s biggest stars.

The 30-year-old Compton native graces the cover of Rolling Stone‘s August issue, and talks about his work with stars like Beyoncé, Drake and Taylor Swift.

Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Lamar blessed Swift’s 2014 hit “Bad Blood” with a few bars, but said he had no idea the song was rumored to address Swift’s longtime feud with Katy Perry.

“No, I wasn’t aware of that, bro,” he said. “Which makes it even more funny now, for sure. That’s far beyond my concern. I have to stay away from that, for sure. That’s some real beef.”

Credit: Mark Seliger for Rolling Stone

The “Alright” rapper is no stranger to music feuds, though. Fans have long suspected a beef between Lamar and Drake, according to BET. However, Lamar had nothing but nice things to say about the “One Dance” rapper.

“I got a lot of favorite Drake songs,” Lamar told Rolling Stone with a laugh. “Can’t name one off the back … He has plenty.”

Leading up to the release of his super-popular album, Lamar, who currently boasts four tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, teamed up with Queen Bey for her track “Freedom” — which he described as a learning experience.

“She’s a perfectionist,” he said of the superstar mom of three. “Think about the BET performance. She was very particular — the lighting, the camera blocking, the transition from the music to the dancing. It was confirmation of something I already knew.”

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Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

However, the artist proved to be a perfectionist with his own project, a 14-track album chronicling everything from Lamar’s childhood and love to his religious beliefs.

“The initial goal was to make a hybrid of my first two commercial albums. That was our total focus, how to do that sonically, lyrically, through melody — and it came out exactly how I heard it in my head … It’s all pieces of me,” he told Rolling Stone.

“Going from To Pimp a Butterfly to DAMN., that s— could have crashed and burned if it wasn’t executed right.”

And Lamar was successful. DAMN. sold more than 600,000 units its first week, according to Billboard.