Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath-signee Kendrick Lamar made his awards show debut at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011 last night [October 11]. As a nominee for the Rookie of the Year award, the up-and-coming rapper took part in one of the show's buzzworthy cyphers.
A standout in his grouping, which included Midwest MC Tech N9ne, Southern spittas B.o.B, Big K.R.I.T, and quick-tongued newcomer Machine Gun Kelly, the Compton MC told BET.com how surreal the experience was for him.
“It was dope,” said Kendrick. “I basically fed off the energy of the competition. It was a lot of elite MCs in there so I knew I had to bring my best. So by the time it was my turn I was just ready to go so I had a lot of fun.... That was my first time, which was crazy because as a kid you sit back and watch these awards and you know they’ve been doing the cyphers for the past few years and I was like damn I always wanted to be a part of them. To actually rap in front of them and to be on camera in front of them, it was a blessing”
Lamar singled out Tech as his favorite participant in the group.
“Yeah I liked Tech N9ne,” said Lamar. “It was crazy how he was flipping his words. He kind of reminded me of Eminem or the way [Big] Pun did it. And that’s the energy that I really fed off of, when Tech N9ne went up there and did his thing. I was waiting on that so, I came right after him it was crazy.” “When they told me I was going to be in the cypher with him, I was waiting on him. By the time he rocked that I was like ‘yeah!’”
The trip to ATL to participate the events leading up to the show was just a short break from his rigorous recording schedule. According to the 24-year-old rapper, he’s been focusing on spending as much time in the studio as possible in preparation for his upcoming debut album on Aftermath.
To see more of the unforgettable moments from the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011 click here.