Kendrick Lamar was the special guest on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club this morning, and the Black Hippy rapper held forth on his role in the Nicki Minaj Hot 97 Summer Jam controversy, how he first linked up with Dr. Dre, his pending collaboration album with J. Cole and more.
Lamar became something like an unwitting participant in the spat between Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg and Nicki Minaj when Rosenberg decided to diss the Young Money artist as not being "real hip hop" while introducing Lamar's set. Asked how he would have felt if he were the one being targeted by the remarks, Kendrick expressed empathy for Minaj.
"Oh I'd be hot," he said, putting himself in her shoes. "She got all the right reason to be hot. I can't take that from her. And all the right reasons to do what she did. I respected it."
Unlike Minaj, however, who deferred to Lil Wayne's call to boycott the festival, Kendrick said he still would have performed.
The Compton artist is signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label and said he first met Dre after years of putting out mixtapes and selling out shows. He said the iconic producer called him and arranged for him to come out to his studio for eight or nine days while he worked on Detox.
"He wanted to get me in the studio and really catch a vibe," he said. "You see a lot of artists but [when you meet them] they may not have the same type of feel that they do on TV, or whatnot. He said the chemistry was there and he wanted to go all the way with it."
Lamar's debut album doesn't yet have a release date, but he said it's "definitely" coming out this year. The album has been rumored to be called Good Kid in a Mad City, but Lamar said that title is still tentative.
"That's really just my alias," he said. "It might be that, it might not. I really just wanna finish the music first."
In addition to his major label debut, Kendrick has also been in the lab with fellow BET Music Matters artist J. Cole working on a much-talked-about collaborative project. He said the idea to make an album together grew out of a natural chemistry.
"That just happened as an organic situation. We didn't try and say 'Oh we gon' do it.' We just went into the studio and made a whole bunch of records and it came out real and natural and we said 'Well, we might as well do a project. We got the chemistry and the people wanna hear it,'" he said.
And the one other person he can't wait to collaborate with next? Analog girl in a digital world Erykah Badu.
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(Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)