Kendrick Lamar Calls Growing Up In Compton A “Mindf*ck”, Explains Why White People Should Let Black People Have The N-Word
Kendrick Lamar snagged the cover of Vanity Fair and offered up a pretty insightful interview. In the interview, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “poet laureate of hip-hop” opened up about his upbringing, auditioning for Top Dawg and why white people shouldn’t say the n-word.
Lamar credits a lot of his success from having the best of both worlds. He was able to experience the harsh streets while still being allowed innocence.
What gives me an advantage in my upbringing is the duality of seeing one of the most beautiful moments of me being 6 years old, to the most tragic moment of being 13 or 14, and make that connection so the person [listening] can really see the conflict. It was a mindf*ck, for sure. I would wake up one morning, and it would be cartoons and cereal and walking back from school. And at 4 P.M., we’d be having a house party ‘til 11 P.M. . .. and people [were] shooting each other outside the door. That was my lifestyle. And it’s not only mine; it’s so many other individuals’. And I wanted to tell that story.
Kendrick discussed the infamous onstage incident at the Hangout Festival in Alabama in which he brought a white fan on stage to rap “m.A.A.d city” and she dropped the N-word several times before he had her leave the stage. He explains why he prefers that white fans not use the word.
Let me put it to you in its simplest form. I’ve been on this earth for 30 years, and there’s been so many things a Caucasian person said I couldn’t do. Get good credit. Buy a house in an urban city. So many things—’you can’t do that’—whether it’s from afar or close up. So if I say this is my word, let me have this one word, please let me have that word.
While most of Lamar’s childhood friends are either dead or in jail, Kendrick credits his alternate path in life to growing up in a two-parent household.
It makes a huge difference. It shows you loyalty. When I look around at my classmates and my friends, they all lived with their grandparents. To have a mother and a father in your household—this showed me immediately that anything is possible.