Dave Chappelle interviews Kendrick Lamar
In a meeting of the minds that sounds too good to be true, Dave Chappelle has interviewed Kendrick Lamar for Interview Magazine. They talk about the repercussions of things you might say in your art, LeBron James cosigning Kendrick’s new album DAMN., Tupac, whether or not “DUCKWORTH.” is a true story (it is), and more. Here’s an excerpt:
CHAPPELLE: I’ve been great. I want to start by asking you about a recent scandal in the comedy world: Kathy Griffin and the picture of her holding Donald Trump’s decapitated head. My question for you is not about politics, but about the content in your work. In comedy right now, the issue is, “When does a comedian go too far?” And I imagine in hip-hop that’s been a long-standing debate—even when I was coming up, when Bill Clinton went after Sister Souljah. When you write, how much do you think about the repercussions of anything you might say?
LAMAR: When I look at comedy—at Richard Pryor, at you—it’s all self-expression. I apply that same method to my music. I came up listening to N.W.A and Snoop. Like them, it’s in me to express how I feel. You might like it or you might not, but I take that stand.
CHAPPELLE: I have this thing when I write jokes; I call it my unseen audience. I’ll think of certain people when I’m writing certain types of jokes. For instance: “What would my mother say?” Who do you think about when you write? Are you thinking about the streets? A lot of your work is openly spiritual and contemplative.
LAMAR: I really focus on what my fans will take from it, people living their day-to-day lives. At the end of the day, the music isn’t for me; it’s for people who are going through their struggles and want to relate to someone who feels the same way they do. I’ve got to take Mom out of the equation. I’ve got to go all-in, expressing myself, right there in the moment.
Read the whole thing here.
Kendrick and Chappelle will meet again at Rihanna’s Diamond Ball in NYC in September. Kendrick is performing and Chappelle is hosting.
Chappelle is also doing 14 nights at Radio City with tons of guests (Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hll, Mos Def, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Chris Rock, etc), and Kendrick is going on a massive headlining tour.