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Kendrick Lamar's favourite Jay-Z album

@notmyyaztattoo

Kendrick Lamar is one of the most iconic rappers in the industry right now. Since his career got started in the early 2010s, he’s been producing thoughtful, enticing hip hop music that’s made a heavy contribution to the industry.

With a new album teased to drop soon and a string of hits behind him, there’s been a decent amount of hype surrounding the rapper as of late. It’s enough to create a bit of wonder around some of the things that inspire him to create the way he does.

When discussing some of his favourite albums, Kendrick Lamar mentioned Jay-Z. Specifically, his album Reasonable Doubt. About the choice, he said, “I had to double back and listen to Jay-Z once I started writing. And one of my favourite tracks on there is ‘Politics As Usual.’ Just the vibe of it and the flow. I really captured that flow and stole that cadence just being a student of the game. It really stuck with me. ‘Y’all relatin’ no waitin’ / I’ll make your block infrared hot: I’m like Satan / y’all feel a nigga’s struggle / y’all think a nigga love to hustle behind the wheel / trying to escape my trouble.’ It’s probably one of the first verses I remember on that album.”

Not only did he find a sense of personal enjoyment, but there is a deep lyrical connection there. He continues talking about what the album means to him, “I got into Reasonable Doubt like 2002, 2001. I was super late. On the West Coast we weren’t really playing East Coast music like that just because of all the beef stuff that was going on—we was really influenced by that. I’m like 9, 10, 11 years old. I don’t wanna listen to nothing on the East Coast. Everything everybody was playing was Death Row.”

It’s definitely interesting to note the inspiration considering Lamar’s West Coast origin compared to Jay-Z’s East Coast ones. It makes the situation all the more unique—not that your affiliations have to completely dictate what you listen to, but there are some strong ties there nonetheless, and blending inspirations is exactly how you find yourself with unique ideas, not unlike Kendrick Lamar and his music.

Although details on his new album have been few and far between, it’ll be a long-anticipated release when the day comes that it does drop.