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Kendrick Lamar talks “Control” verse, Kanye West, and his next album

on January 24, 2014, 9:49am

On Sunday, Kendrick Lamar will look to put an exclamation point on a massive two-year stretch that has seen him go from heralded newcomer to hip-hop’s most exciting and talked-about emcee. The Compton native is up for seven Grammys, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year for his stunning good kid, m.A.A.d city, and he’s also set to perform during the awards show alongside Imagine Dragons. In anticipation of Sunday’s big night, he sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an extensive conversation which saw him touch on everything from his verse on “Control” to touring with Kanye West to his next studio album.

On “Control”…

“It wasn’t pre-meditated, it just came to me when I was writing that bar,” says Lamar. “The crazy part is, I didn’t think it would ever go to where diss records were coming at me. I thought people would be like… he threw some challenges out there… that was dope.”

What he learned from touring with Kanye…

“Kanye taught me to never to downplay your ideas,” adds Lamar. “I learned to always stay as creative as possible and never have any boundaries. Those things that people called ‘rants’ on-stage are real conversations that we had behind closed doors — about business and how when you get to a certain level people won’t want to see you break through because they only see you as a rapper.”

The status of his next album…

There are ideas for his next record, but he mostly demurs when asked about it. “I’m still seeing what I feel like,” says Lamar. “When I really catch it, I’ll be out there with it.” He doesn’t acknowledge anticipation, but he knows it exists.

The Hollywood Reporter also has a few details about Kendrick’s performance at the Grammys. He’ll team with Imagine Dragons for a duet of “m.A.A.d. City” and “Radioactive”, and as is it is the Grammys, the stage show promises to be epic. At the time of the report, Lamar and the Dragons were kicking around the idea of an “interactive police riot,” featuring “flying white chalk clouds, epileptic strobe lights, Molotov cocktails, cannons, a waterfall.” However, they have ruled out a strings section, because Kanye already did it.

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