Jay Z has a "responsibility" to inspire young kids now he's one of rap's most iconic stars, says Kendrick Lamar.
The 26-year-old rapper has worked with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop including Dr. Dre, The Game, Drake and Lil Wayne, among other popular stars.
Kendrick is constantly inspired by his more experienced counterparts, especially rap icon Jay Z.
"I look at Jay Z as more than just an artist. I look at him more as an innovator, tastemaker and that’s something that takes years to get to," He explained to the National Post when asked if he sees himself still doing this when he's 40, like the international superstar.
"It becomes like a role or responsibility to show the kids, ‘Damn, it’s not just rap.’ At 40, I definitely want to be a tastemaker."
Kendrick is proud to have worked with some of his personal idols. The star has been disappointed by a few artists he's met on the way though.
"I’m fortunate enough to have some great heroes behind me, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, but there’s a few that you look up to as a kid and then you meet them and it’s a little sketchy," he laughed when asked which of his heroes are jerks.
At the age of 16 Kendrick released his first mix tape under the moniker K-Dot. Kendrick is confident of how far he has come in the industry and feels his talent is different from anything else.
"I think every artist has their own niche," he explained when asked if he'd ever like to turn back into K-Dot.
"That’s my gift. The way I write, that’s the gift he gave to me and I can’t stop God’s design. I could do it the way everyone else is doing it, but I don’t feel challenged. I draw from something else that gives me more of a spark."
Kendrick recently caused a stir with his lyrics on Control, a song by Big Sean.
As well as referring to Lindsay Lohan as a "rich ass white girl looking for parties, playin' with Barbies, wreck the Porsche before you give 'em the car key," he also mentions a list of hip-hop's key players and raps: "I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you... tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you."
Lindsay's father Michael Lohan told Radar Online: "Who cares? He's an idiot. [He's] senseless. What can you say to a moron?"
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