While the debate around "mumble rap" may never be settled among rap purists and others alike, artists like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert have found an unlikely ally in Kendrick Lamar.
In a recent sit-down with Forbes for its 30 Under 30 issue, K. Dot speaks at great length about his reverence for hip-hop's history and being deemed a "conscious" intellectual rapper. But perhaps the most nonchalantly profound spot of the interview comes when Kendrick is asked to share his thoughts on the current evolution of rap.
While the "HUMBLE" rapper acknowledges that understanding the roots of hip-hop is vital ([I] never take [our history] for advantage and misuse it"), Kendrick seems to be willing to let the younger generation do their thing, just as long as they remain respectful. "I want hip-hop to continue to evolve. That's why I can't shun a lot of the artists that may not be a Kendrick Lamar," he begins his lengthy response.
"But this is what I tell them every time I see them ... be yourself and do what you do but also know who laid down the groundwork," he continued. "Don't go on your interviews and diss them and say you don't like them and you don't care for them. That's your opinion, that's cool but you have to respect them. So talking down on the folks that inspired us to do this, it'd never be right. You dig what I'm saying? So at the end of the day as long as you be who you are but respect what got us here, that's how you continue to evolve."
Considering, Kung Fu Kenny has endorsed the likes of Lil B as well as XXXTentacion, his open-mindedness doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kendrick calls Barack Obama "Big Barack," expresses his admiration for YG's "F*ck Donald Trump," and breaks down TDE's business savvy. Check out the full-length interview here as well as K. Dot on the cover of Forbes, below.