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Kendrick Lamar Details the Inspiration Behind His Hit Single “i”

Watch the full interview here »

Listening to the lyrics on the West Coast rapper’s latest single, you get the impression that Kendrick Lamar just loves himself to death. That’s understandable, slightly, because we love him too. But diving into the song’s meaning with the Compton native, DJ Toro found that there is a deeper, more socially conscious message to take away from “i.”

Related: Kendrick Lamar Performs ‘i’ & Jay Rock’s ‘Pay For It’ on ‘SNL’: Watch

“The idea of the record came from me drawing inspiration from a lot of guys that [are] actually incarcerated,” says Lamar. “A lot of my friends, a lot of my family,” he explains, “pulling from their perspective of them feeling like they have nothing left to live for because they’re behind bars and have lifetime sentences.”

“So,” Lamar continues, “I said to myself ‘what better way for me to not only tell their story, but give them a little bit more hope rather than feeling like they’re just locked in a cage?’ On the other end, the song represents people on the outside world too, that feel like they have nothing to live for.”

It’s a scenario that Kendrick knows all too well, seeing family and friends succumb to the pitfalls of depression.

“These kids that come to my shows, and say that they were going to kill themselves last week… until they played my CD and this song saved their life — I drew inspiration from that and said, ‘you listen to this record, you repeat this saying to yourself every day and know your worth and know your pride. You won’t worry about the negative things that [are] going on in the world.'”


(Photo: E.J. Judge / CBS Digital)

(Photo: E.J. Judge / CBS Digital)

[PHOTOS] Kendrick Lamar In Studio w/ DJ Toro

>> Watch the Full Interview HERE <<


Kendrick Lamar’s ‘i” can be heard daily on New York’s 92.3 AMP Radio and is available online now as a digital download.

Follow Kendrick Lamar on Facebook & Twitter.

–Joe Cingrana, 92.3 AMP


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