Compton hip-hop prophet Kendrick Lamar is the cover star of Vanity Fair for its August 2018 issue, complete with a story sharing insight on his latest victories including his history-landmarking Pulitzer Prize accolade (which has inspired yet another new rap moniker, “Pulitzer Kenny”) and his thoughts on Kanye West’s slavery comments.
For his first Vanity Fair feature, K-Dot also gave true meaning to his cover story’s title, “The Gospel According to Kendrick Lamar,” with a sermon-worthy statement about white folks and the use of the N-word.
The conversation regarding the frequently debated subject matter rose around the discussion of a recent controversy in May when the “DAMN.” rap artist invited a white fan on stage to help rap Kendrick’s “m.A.A.d city” smash hit. Kendrick had to cut her time short, however, after the fan failed to censor the N-word in the lyrics while rapping along to the single.
With the help of Charlamagne Tha God’s “Donkey of the Day” badge for the fan, the on-stage incident sparked controversy on the internet with some fans reasoning that the fan should have known better while others argued that Kendrick was to blame. According to him, however, the issue at hand isn’t so complex.
“Let me put it to you in its simplest form,” he said. “I’ve been on this earth for 30 years, and there’s been so many things a Caucasian person said I couldn’t do. Get good credit. Buy a house in an urban city. So many things—’you can’t do that’—whether it’s from afar or close up. So if I say this is my word, let me have this one word, please let me have that word.”
Later on in the story, he also shares his thoughts on another major race-related topic that’s run heavy in internet discourse: Kanye’s Donald Trump and slavery statements. Kendrick would be more interested in having a personal conversation with ‘Ye on his controversial thoughts, he elaborated, but he doesn’t talk much about politics anyway because he becomes too frustrated.
“He has his own perspective, and he’s on this whole agree to disagree thing,” Kendrick said of the G.O.O.D. Music leader, “and I would have this conversation with him personally if I want to.”
More than fair enough.
Read Kendrick’s full Vanity Fair feature here.
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS)