Kendrick Lamar continues to take strategic steps towards an interesting career in journalism as the year goes on. First he sat down with the remaining members of N.W.A. for an in-depth conversation, then he shared a dedication to Tupac, and recently he got the opportunity to interview Quincy Jones. Now Kendrick is at it once again.
For their upcoming “Nowstalgia” issue, Paper Magazine asked various artists to pen essays paying tribute to rap icons that we’ve lost. In the coming days, Paper will share pieces by Eminem on Tupac and by Swizz Beats on The Notorious B.I.G. But first, they shared Kendrick Lamar’s article on how Eazy-E impacted his life and career.
Kendrick explained what immediately made Eazy-E stand out among the rest to him:
What made Eazy special was that he was telling a different type of truth, a truth that wasn’t heard in music yet. Before them, rap was fun — you had your battles and whatnot, but this time around, when it came to what Eazy wanted to do, being a visionary, he had the idea of speaking the honest truth, and I think it really resonated with a lot of people because it was the shock value of, “Okay, these guys are really standing out and focused on telling their reality, no matter how pissed off you get by it.” And it got interest from people. People actually wanted to hear it and wanted to know what was going on.
Kendrick later went on to explain how Eazy-E’s career shaped his own:
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Eazy and I wouldn’t be able to say the things that I say, talk about my community the way I talk about it, for good or for bad. He’s 100% influenced me in terms of really being not only honest with myself, but honest about where I come from and being proud of where I come from
There’s no solid proof that Kendrick Lamar has any plans to officially enter the field of journalism, but he’s certainly off to an impressive start. Read the full essay here.