Considering Kendrick Lamar and famed music executive Rick Rubin have both helped shape and influence today's hip-hop music scene in a multitude of ways, it's a bit surprising that, prior to linking for the latest GQ cover story, the pair had not yet crossed paths.
Making their joint interview that much more amazing is that, following their discussion, the two organically ended up in the studio together. Needless to say, the experience was pretty incredible for each respective party.
Hosting the unique interview at Rubin's own Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California, he and the Compton rapper discussed their personal musical backgrounds, with the legendary producer noting that it's "interesting" that Lamar is like "a throwback to when lyrics mattered."
Following this epic compliment, Lamar explains that he would study Eminem as a kid and was in awe of his power as a true lyricist.
"How I got in the studio was all just curiosity," he says. "I had a love for the music, but it was curiosity. The day I heard The Marshall Mathers LP, I was just like, 'How does that work? What is he doing? How is he putting his words together like that? What's the track under that? An ad-lib? What is that?' And then, 'Why don't you go in the studio and see?' So I do that. Then it became, 'How's his words cutting through the beat like that? What is he doing that I'm not doing, now that I'm into it?' His time is impeccable. When he wants to fall off the beat, it's impeccable. These are things that, through experience and time, I had to learn."
From there, the conversation shifted to how Lamar remains inspired and in the positive mindset vital for creating. He shares with Rubin that he meditates daily, which allows him to feel like he's able to slow time down.
"First off would have to be how I was raised," Kendrick responds when Rubin asks him what inspires him. "The environment. My father being a complete realist, just in the streets. And my mother being a dreamer. It starts there first, before I even heard any type of melody or lyric. That's just DNA. It's always the yin and the yang, the good versus the evil."
Their conversation truly features gem after gem, further proving that when you put two legends in a room together the result is inspiring.
Check out their in-depth interview in full here and in the clip below.
(Photo: GQ via Youtube)