This is a well-deserved title. Rapper of the Year. Kendrick Lamar is arguably the hottest rapper of 2013, I mean he did spend more time on stage than other artist out! He’s made waves in the industry and isn’t stopping anytime soon, as he joins four other stars on the covers of the GQ Men of the Year issue, which also include Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell and the late James Gandolfini.
In the interview he addresses his relationship with Drake after the controversial and possibly the verse of the year on “Control.”
I asked if this meant things were cool between him and Drake. He paused. “Pretty cool.” Shrugs. “And I mean, I would be okay if we weren’t.”
A month later, it became apparent that things between Kendrick and Drake were definitely not cool. After Drake’s new album dropped, he gave a pair of interviews in which he sounded wounded by the “Control” thing: “You can’t just say that and then see me and be like, ‘Yeah, man, what’s up?’—pretending like nothing ever happened.” Seemingly in response, during the BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher a few weeks later, Kendrick freestyled: Nothing been the same since they dropped “Control” / and tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.
I got Kendrick on the phone after the BET taping, and he admitted to being surprised by Drizzy’s public lash-out—”Control” named names, sure, but at its core it was a backhanded tribute to the peers Kendrick actually gives a shit about. Most of them took it in that spirit. Not Drake. “Yeah, I guess he took it as a dis,” Kendrick said, downplaying talk of a beef. But he was also clear that he doesn’t look up to Drake, doesn’t see him as any kind of creative influence. When I asked if Drake was a mentor or a role model, he replied quickly, “No—peer. If anything. We all peers.” GQ
Check out his freestyle on set for his photo shoot where he goes retro like we’ve never seen him before: