The legendary Rick Rubin is a cultural icon in Hip Hop, so when he sat down with Kendrick Lamar to interview him for GQ, the video was nothing short of epic.
In the video, which took place at Shangri-La Studios, Rick Rubin and Kendrick discuss K. Dot’s creative process, writing process, and his inspiration among other topics of conversation.
When asked about his writing process, Kendrick revealed he usually doesn’t need a track to create his lyrics.
“I normally just listen to a simple drum loop that I like,” Kendrick said. “The process is more like a premeditated process of thought that I write and the concept is how I come up with the thing I’m going to say next. Then when I hit the studio, it’s about finding that sound that will trigger the idea that I came up with two months ago.”
Kendrick also revealed that when it comes to creating, he’s his worse critic.
“For me, it’s about challenging myself, I am my worse critic,” Kendrick continued. “I think my excitement with me doing music comes from me feeling like I’m never stagnant and that I didn’t get comfortable in my own skin about what I think sounds good or what someone else thinks sounds good. You know stepping outside of my comfort zone and mastering it, that excites me and that’s what keeps me going.”
K. Dot also revealed that he was surprised by the support he received with “MAAD City” because he planned for other tracks to be “radio ready”.
“I was surprised with the response I got from ‘MAAD City’ because I had planned my first major album to be radio ready with a few tracks but also ear candy. I felt I had a few bangers on there that people would naturally want to hear and people gravitated towards ‘MAAD City’,” Kendrick said. “That taught me that you can plan whatever you want but ultimately people are going to gravitate towards what moves them and the crazy thing is that’s one of my favorite tracks off of that album because I was just being me.”
For the complete conversation between Lamar and Rubin — which also touches on Eminem’s influence and the making of “Alright” — see the full video interview.