Originally published on HU News Service.
It is 2:30 p.m. on Friday April 1, and up-and-coming rapper Kendrick Lamar, 23, is sitting on a window sill inside a dimly lit room in the high-ceiling Andrew W. Mellon auditorium in Washington D.C. The only light visible travels in from the window behind him.
Lamar wears a black sweatshirt and sweatpants and leaves his hood on while photographers snap pictures of him. He’s still, quiet, and occasionally checks his Blackberry phone. Lamar’s clothes and movements say he’s taking it easy from what seems to be a hectic schedule. On Sunday he would be performing in Greensboro, N.C., and just the night before, he performed to a packed out show in Atlanta.
Now over 600 miles and less than a day later, he’s mentally preparing for a press run and his performance that night as headliner for the Gentleman Jack Arts, Beats, and Life urban artistry showcase. This would be his first performance in D.C ever.
But Lamar who has been rapping since he was 16, is gaining many ‘firsts’ as of recent. Soon enough, the Compton, Los Angeles native will have his first major feature on Dr. Dre’s long-awaited third albumDetox. In January, he performed his first sold old show at the Key Club in Los Angeles. And this month he is featured on his first XXLmagazine cover, as one of the newest rappers expected to part waves in the hip hop industry this year. His sharp-tongued, witty lyrics about life, accompanied by soulful beats have given some of his younger fans clearer eyes on seeing life.
From under his hood. Lamar reveals a smile as he discusses these new experiences. Any previous idea that he is near exhaustion on his journey, quickly fades. It’s obvious Lamar is anticipating the arrival of his future destinations.
Watch interview below or read here.
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