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Kendrick Lamar: 'I fear my power'

Published 15/12/2015

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar struggled to identify with himself after achieving huge success and fame.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar is experiencing an internal battle over how much power he can handle as he cements himself in hip hop history.

Last week (ends11Dec15) he picked up 11 Grammy nominations, with nods in categories like Album of the Year and Best Rap Album for his third studio release To Pimp a Butterfly, but in light of his incredible success, he is convinced it's time to rein back his power.

"I know I’m chosen," he tells XXL magazine's winter issue. "I know I’m a favourite. I know in my heart there’s a whole other energy and leadership side of me that I have probably run from my whole life. How much power do I want? How much can I handle? That’s the question I keep asking myself.

"I get confused because people are championing me to be that vocal point and it’s a challenge for me to be that because I have some fear of that type of power."

Kendrick, 28, first made a name for himself in 2010 with the release of his mixtape Overly Dedicated, and he became an international star when his album good kid, m.A.A.d city came out in 2012, but he has only just become aware of how far-reaching his influence has become.

"I think about how I’m two projects in and you have the world saying I’m the one," he explained. "And I’m still trying to figure out who I even am.

"My little sister is 16, my little cousin is 20, my younger brother is 10, they all looking at me like that. When they friends around, they friends can’t walk pass me without asking a million questions about my lyrics.

"I can’t go to their schools without the same thing. Just having the amount of love and energy that these younger fans bring and how enthused they are from just talking with me about important topics. And I’m sitting there thinking, 'These kids are really listening to me.'

"But why am I the one to get this opportunity? And how do I keep that from going to my head and not have an ego? How do I balance it out?”

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