The publication was founded by eccentric pop artist Andy Warhol in 1969, and is known for linking major personalities. With Badoula and the good kid — both known for carving out their own niche even within their revolutionary genres — the conversation went deep into his mind state as he navigates his whirlwind success. (He says he doesn't have a home right now, he lives wherever the tour takes him.) Badu danced around the titillating. (She asked, "How do you choose chicks from backstage?") And then Lamar flipped into the ever-popular battle of the sexes. (He asked her, "Would you rather have been a man or a woman?")
Both artists also have another thing in common: they are performing at the BET Experience in L.A. this June. Be sure to check to see if they link up musically. Meanwhile, check out an excerpt from their talk.
BADU: The first time I saw you was on BET's Cypher. I didn't know who you were at that time, but you stood out. What do you think your secret weapon is as a lyricist? What do you think that "thing" is that makes you stand out?
LAMAR: Oh, man ... That's a good question. You know, I studied people I looked up to: Jay-Z, Nas, B.I.G., Pac ... But early on, I didn't really have my own sound. I had a passion for it, but me actually rapping the way they rapped is what got me into doing my own thing. I think me being that intricate and studying songs line for line — I probably spent more time listening to albums than writing songs. But I think that gave me all the tricks in terms of wordplay, from how I pronounced my words to the actual delivery...
BADU: Outside of hip hop, what other kinds of music do you listen to?
LAMAR: Indie or alternative stuff. Sonnymoon and Quadrants are a couple of bands that really inspire me in terms of the melodics of things and certain tones and just what feels good. It takes me back to the type of music that I grew up on in my household. We played a lot of gangsta rap, but we also played a lot of oldies, and I think that mix is part of what inspires my sound. My pops and my mom started playing Marvin Gaye and the Isley Brothers and all these people, but at the same time, they always had Snoop on right behind it in the same mix.
BADU: What has it been like for you to get to meet someone like Dr. Dre or any of these other artists who you looked up to when you were a kid?
LAMAR: It's weird...
BADU: In what way?
LAMAR: Well, I've got an extra-specific story about Dr. Dre. I saw him when I was 9 years old in Compton — him and Tupac. They were shooting the second "California Love" video. My pops had seen him and ran back to the house and got me, put me on his neck, and we stood there watching Dre and Pac in a Bentley. I'll never forget this moment — it was probably about a year and some change before Pac died. So the moment I met Dre, 15 years later, that's what was playing in my head. He was talking to me, and the whole time I was like, I hear him, but I'm not listening, because all I could think about was that moment when I was a kid [both laugh]. It was tricky at first because right after that he said, "Go in the booth," so I had to, in a split second, stop being a fan and get professional. That moment was make-or-break for me in my career, but I executed.
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(Photos from left: Splash News, Prince Williams/FilmMagic)