Don Cheadle on Kendrick Lamar: “He’s Kind of the Anti-Hip-Hop Artist” Article


Earlier this week, Kendrick Lamar released a video for the Mike WiLL Made-It-produced “DNA.,” a standout selection from his newly-released and hella streamed album, DAMN..

Directed by Nabil and The Little Homies, the video, which has racked up over 12 million views in less than 48 hours, co-stars veteran actor Don Cheadle, who Kendrick cast to play an interrogation cop turned possessed rapper.

In a new interview with Pitchfork, during which he reveals he had just two days to memorize Kendrick's first verse for the video shoot, Cheadle spoke glowingly Kendrick, touching on what, specifically, makes him such a special artist.

Hearing someone call Kendrick Lamar “anti-hip-hop” might, at first, seem like equal parts trolling and madness, but Cheadle's analysis Lamar's is actually spot on.

Kendrick's success in the music industry and his current standing in the hip-hop pantheon are largely the results his sincerity as an artist. While tackling serious topics, such as religion or fear, is not unprecedented in hip-hop—Drake and Kanye both made a career out being vulnerable—it's Kendrick's brutally honest worldview and inviting personality that has, in addition to his musical talents, helped to separate him from the mainstream rap world pack.

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