The nation is buzzing over the release of Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine is no different.
Iovine has long been known for his uncanny ability to transform a raw musical talent into a global superstar. The list of careers that the impresario is directly responsible for reads like a who’s who of the music industry’s elite: Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas.
BET.com caught up with the multi-faceted mogul in Los Angeles to discuss one of his newest artists, Kendrick Lamar, whose major label debut, good kid m.A.A.d. city, hit stores today (October 22).
The Compton MC is one of the most talked about new rappers to come out since Game (also an Iovine artist) back in 2005, and has already garnered critical acclaim for his 2011 underground album, Section 80, as well as his first two singles, "The Recipe" and "Swimming Pools (Drank)," off of the new album.
"The first few singles are great," exclaimed Iovine, who also added, "[Kendrick] has done some incredible work and he’s been great for the company."
When asked what made K. Dot stand out from the dozens of hyped-up new rappers, Iovine pointed to the young gun’s lyrical acumen. "He’s a smart artist and he’s a great lyricist," noted Iovine, who continued, "We try to find great lyricists every day in this business, they’re few and far between and this guy is definitely one of them. If somebody’s got great words, follow them and you’ll get something great."
Although good kid m.A.A.d. city is Kendrick’s major label debut, Iovine is confident that it is merely the first act of a long and prosperous career. "Anyone that can write like that, you’re going to have a long run with them and they won’t disappoint."
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(Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images For Montblanc, John Ricard / BET)