Writer At War: Kendrick Lamar’s XXL Cover Story
A lot of times in interviews, people ask me things like, “How does it feel now? What have you bought your mom and your pops and family?” Nobody ever really asks about what it’s like trying to adapt to fame and money and how much of a depression it can make for you. How much of a depression it could put you in knowing that so many kids hang on to your words. I can’t make a song like “i” without being in that dark place. “i” comes from going overseas, going to New York, being in L.A. and hearing kids saying, “Kendrick, I was gonna kill myself last week. Section.80, good kid, m.A.A.d citysaved my life.” Or “I was gonna kill myself tonight until I came to your show.”
I believe that they are telling the truth. At first I wasn’t so sure, maybe it was just they were excited to meet me. But then they showed me their wrists and had all these different scars from when they tried to take their lives but failed. Or I look into their eyes and their pupils are dilated and they on all these types of meds and drugs, it’s a whole different story to me. That’s when I learned that while I’m making music for myself, drawing from my own experiences and conflictions and battles within myself, this teenager listens to every word I say. And that’s spooky.