kendrick lamar

Kendrick Lamar Says The Industry Has Become Soft & Lacks Aggression

(AllHipHop News) Kendrick Lamar sparked a major lyrically combative moment in Hip Hop last year when his verse from Big Sean’s “Control” made its way to the Internet. Dozens of rappers responded to K. Dot’s challenge to knock him off the throne.

In an extensive feature in the New York Times, the TDE emcee shares his opinion on the lack of competition and aggression in rap music today.

[ALSO CHECK OUT: Mike WiLL Made It Ft. Kendrick Lamar, Future & Lil Wayne “Buy The World”]

“If my edge is dull, my sword is dull, and I don’t want to fight another guy whose sword is dull. If you’ve got two steel swords going back and forth hitting each other, what’s gonna happen? Both of them are going to get sharper,” says Lamar. “Everybody that’s in the industry has lost their edge… There’s really no aggression. You gotta say things particular, and everything is so soft.”

The good kid, m.A.A.d city creator also discusses opening for Kanye West’s “Yeezus Tour.” Top Dawg Entertainment’s president Terrence “Punch” Henderson reveals TDE originally did not want Lamar to take the gig, because they wanted him to focus on recording his next album.

Apparently, West and his team wanted Kendrick so badly they got the Compton, California native a tour bus with a recording studio and insisted his show have a prominent role beyond the typical opening act status. Kendrick now seems pleased he did not turn that opportunity down.

[ALSO READ: Kanye West Announces “Yeezus Tour” With Kendrick Lamar]

“It’s a different kind of thrill when an actual artist asks you, when Kanye asks you,” reflects Lamar on going on the road with one of the biggest music stars in the world. “Now I know he’s really interested in what I do.”

Kendrick is currently working on his sophomore major label LP. Back in February, TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith hinted the project could arrive in September, but recent developments lean toward the next K. Dot album coming at a later date.

[ALSO READ: Kendrick Lamar’s Next Album May Be Coming Later Than Expected (VIDEO)]

  • El Dogga

    All I gotta say is after all this talk with just ONE ALBUM into the game…….YOU BETTER NOT FLOP!

    • Johnny Boy

      He has 2 albums.

      Section.80 = 2011
      good kid, m.A.A.d city = 2012

      • exactly

      • El Dogga

        I need to check that ’11 joint. I thought his debut on aftermath was his first.

        Either way HE BETTER NOT FLOP! He talk like he six albums deep!

      • Johnny Boy

        Yeah, Section.80 is his first studio album but, it was only under T.D.E. at the time which was independent.

      • rocnation30

        yep …this album better match or top good kid mad city or he’ll be an after thought

      • rocnation30

        I don’t think it will he put so much of himself on good kid mad city we know everything about em ….

      • rocnation30

        those albums weren’t even that great….smh

      • Johnny Boy

        Okay.

  • Killuminati

    he better bring it this time around!!!!!!!!!

  • Johnny Boy

    Let the butthurt flow in…

  • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

    Wonder who’s leading the pack with this softness? Hmmmmmmm! LOL.

  • om3n78

    but aint he soft tho………….

    • why would u consider him soft..cuz he doesnt walk with his pants saggin…cuz he doesnt rap about guns and killing..which most of these so called hard rappers dont do anyway…becuz he’s not thugging and selling drugs on records he’s soft? yall clowns got shit twisted for real

      • om3n78

        feelings…….

      • Killuminati

        i agree….he has more content than most because he can rap abt anything….most people rap abt cars, guns , violence…same old shit

      • Whodi

        Well is not a street nigga nor did he claim to be, so he just a regular dude who happen to rap. Is nothing hard about him no homo but the nigga is just the hood drake. Hood bc where he come from and how he grown up

      • KnowledgeSeeker

        he is a street nigga just not YOUR street nigga. Not everybody from the street or the hood got a record or a body. Some people are just nuetral, dont commit violent acts but still has a street mentality

      • 80’s kid

        TRUE !!!!

      • RightOn

        Great response BaltimoreFlavaRadio. Most of these dummies still don’t have a grasp of what it means to be a man.

    • 80’s kid

      No my Man he isn’t

      • 80’s kid

        KDOT even gave him props.They need to collab

  • 80’s kid

    King LOS is the only cat who can give him competition PERIOD

    • orlando jackson

      cause he is the only one that didnt call him backpack the response from LOS was agressive but soft …

      • 80’s kid

        Brothers don’t sleep on LOS . He is no studio gangster. He was in the streets in bmore which is no joke. The WIRE is soft compared to what it’s really like. Off the dome nobody can touch this kid !!!! I pray his next deal has dope production and beats that’s all he needs

      • Celz

        I’m waiting for him.. He needs someone to write his hooks tho.. Or just practice the hooks a little more.. I was bangin his mixtape and my bro pointed that out so I switched to Big Sean’s and his hooks and overall feeling of the songs was better.. But that’s prolly just cuz Sean’s pockets is a lil deeper team a lil bigger.. I hop Los is next on the real..

    • John Q. Public

      Big Krit

    • rocnation30

      king los??? smh

      • rocnation30

        JAY Z

    • Arrie Mental Woodard

      wrong…. Go listen to Los and Budden on control, shit even Tito Lopez flamed that shit!

  • orlando jackson

    aint that the guy that said… that if you cant beef without fighting or sending threat you aint gangsta? but now he said the game is soft? lol

    • KnowledgeSeeker

      He never said that. plz back up your claim

      • orlando jackson

        he did it … he said talking bout killing in a beef aint gangster … then had snoop dogg taking for him…

  • Whodi

    This is coming from a nigga who happen to be a soft ass nigga,
    Don’t get me wrong is nothing with niggas Kendrick, drake wale etc
    But if you not the hard core type of rapper don’t complain about industry being soft when you’re one of the soft nigga.

    • KnowledgeSeeker

      why is he soft? because he doesnt put out music about killing someone and robbing someone. Because he’s conservative instead of being loud ignorant and arrogant. Maybe he’s just more grown and mature than your average hood rapper. Grow up

      • orlando jackson

        he is talking bout the lack of agression so wassup..

      • Brindle

        great response

      • RightOn

        Well put. Some of these zombies are shallow as hell.

      • rocnation30

        a few characters a great rapper must have….street cred…an actual story to tell the public, meaning u can’t be lil waynes age or kendrick lamars age an expect the public to believe u have all this knowledge an done so much to educate us an keep us interested. for instance Mr marshall mathers he told us everything we needed to know about him in 2 albums , now look every album he drops after is just ummmm…ok whatever…u gotta have the it factor, meaning being cool be able to dress an look a certain way. next u gotta have bars be able to spit an actually make dope records.

      • KnowledgeSeeker

        street cred is something that only street people look for to relate to an artist. You dont need that to be great rapper (nowadays you might need it to be a succesfull one but not great). You just have to be true to who you are and honest. Those two characteristics go a lot further then street cred. and why cant they hav that much knowledge at that age. You have no idea the lessons, life experiences, and mentors that he ha had in his life. Just because you and nobody around you at that age has that knowledge doesnt mean that nobody does

      • rocnation30

        HONEST??? HOW DO U KNOW IF A MANS HONEST ?? ESPECIALLY NEVER MEETING OR KNOWING HIM??…THESE ARE ENTERTAINERS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THEY COULD MAKE UP AN ENTIRE LIFESTYLE U WOULD NEVER KNOW…….KNOWLEDGE COMES WITH GROWTH MEANING AS YOU MATURE …..SMH….NEVER SAID I DIDNT HAVE THAT MUCH KNOWLEDGE OR HOW MUCH I EVEN HAVE…BUT I DO KNOW KNOWLEDGE COMES WITH GROWTH AND VISUALLY SEEING AN EXPERIENCE…..KENDRICK LAMAR WONT BE AROUND LONGER THAN 2 ALBUMS THATS A FACT…….PEOPLE BELIEVE AND FEEL STORIES THEY CAN RELATE TO…..BUT THATS OK KNOWLEDGE SEEKER …ILL GIVE U THE KNOWLEDGE U SEEKIN

      • KnowledgeSeeker

        lol ok so we should believe that the all rappers are nothing more than entertainers fabricating and simply making up lives; there are no rappers that consider themselves as poets thats painting a picture of the live and lives around them, those ppl dont exist huh? Knowledge doesnt just come from life experiences. Most knowledge a person intakes throughout their lives is through word of mouth and reading. So you cant say that this 40y/o who has only life experiences and no one dropping knowledge on him has more or even as much knowledge as a 20 y/o with five wise men behind him constantly dropping knowledge on him. Kinda like what Im doing for you. PS you are idiotic if honestly think that Kendrick Lamar will even be irrelevant after this next album. I dont think you have listen to the man because his stories are some of the most related stories in music today. Talking smart with research and proof is one thing, talking smart with no research or proof is just you talking out your ass

      • rocnation30

        YEP EXACTLY THATS WHY THEY GET PAID SO MUCH MONEY BECAUSE THEIR JOB TITLE IS CALLED ENTERTAINER……LOOK UP THE DEFINITION…..AND THE POETS U ARE TALKIN ABOUT THAT CALL THEMSELVES POETS ARE JUST BROKE POETS WHO DONT INFLUENCE NO ONE BUT PPL LIKE U…..I LIKE POETS AND MC’S WHO CALL THEMSELVES SO CALLED POETS ..POET TALIB KWELI, MOS DEF , BLACK THOUGHT,COMMON…….. U KNOW WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN YOUR AVERAGE POET AN JAY Z IS???? THE FACT THAT JAYZ COULD SHUT YOUR ENTIRE CITY DOWN LIKE THE PRESIDENT JUST BECAUSE HES PERFORMING THEIR…THAT POWER ALONE MAKES PPL WANT AN CRAVE AND KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EM…..U ARE THE REASON HIPHOP IS DYING AS WE SPEAK…KENDRICK LAMAR SPILLED HIS ENTIRE SHORT LIFE ON GKMC ….HIS NEXT WONT HAVE THE ENERGY OR GAS TO EVEN MATCH IT ..HE CANT AND WONT MATCH THAT ALBUM ..AND GUESS WHAT ??? IM GONNA KEEP YOUR NAME AND MAKE SURE I SEND YO ASS A MESSAGE SAYING I FUCKIN TOLD U SO……KENDRICK LAMAR IS A GOOD RAPPER BUT SO IS MACKLEMORE, BIG SEAN, SO ON AN SO ON. PS : YOU ARE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE DOES COME FROM READING AND WORD OF MOUTH ….BUT I WASNT JUST SPEAKING ON KNOWLEDGE I WAS SPEAKING ON ACTUAL LIFE EXPERIENCES…SMFH HOW MUCH LIFE EXPERIENCE DOES HE HAVE??? PEOPLE WANT PPL WHO ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT THE LIFE THEY SPEAK OR HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN SOME SHIT…….NOT A YOUNG 22 OR 23 YEAR OLD MAKIN UP A WHOLE BUNCH A SHIT THEY CAN READ THROUGH , ESPECIALLY SINCE THE RAP AUDIENCE IS GETTIN YOUNGER EVERY SECOND..CMON……. GIMME A KENDRICK LINE…LMAO….. LAST THING IM GONNA SAY IS THEIRS ONLY 3 MAYBE 4 RAPPERS THATS GOT RAP IN A CHOKE HOLD AND ONCE THEY ARE DONE HIPHOP WILL BE TOO……JAY Z, KANYE, DRAKE, AND MAYBE RICK ROSS…THEY MAKE MUSIC THEY TELL STORIES, THEY GOT ACTUAL LINES AN SHIT U CAN RELATE TO THE REST OF THESE SO CALLED POETS IN YOUR WORDS ARE JUST FUCKIN RAPPIN…. THATS WHY THEY WONT BE AROUND LONGER THAN 1 ALBUM

      • KnowledgeSeeker

        lets excuse the fact that Eminem can and has done that on a bigger level than jay with a lot less power. Jay Z can shut down any arena yes he does have power but the people are coming to see a great artist not a powerful figure. He’s uses his “power” mainly for business and marketing. but if im killing hip hop that ironically so are some the mc’s that you like. Common and Talib Kweli have on a number of occasions expressed the same feelings of the state of hip hop that i have; so what side of the line do you truly stand on. kendrick along wih other TDE member and the Top Dawg (the person) have stated numerous of times that GKMC was ONLY ONE story of his life. He has plenty more stories. PS kendrick out sold all 4 of those artist and the follow -up will out sell them again. So whether or not you like it you have to put him at the top of hop hop (not R&B wit rap splashes-Drake)

      • Whodi

        He not a hard core or gangsta rapper he is in the same lane with drake, wale, jcole, big krit etc, there is nothing wrong with that but don’t start talking about how the industry isn’t hard when you ain’t hard. If shit like this came from niggas like style p, zero, Gucci man then well they can say that but not this nigga.

      • Celz

        My nicca you sound soft.. On some real shyt..

      • Whodi

        Shut up bitch,

      • KnowledgeSeeker

        ok, you obviosly think that Hard music is music about gang violence and drug sellin and shootin niggas with no regard. All you know obviously is rap and know very little about hiphop. This is a sport jsut like basketball. ppl gets a persons peronal life and persona mixing with competitive nature of the sport. Kobe is not confrontational person by any means or “hard” but when he gets on the court where he is the tryin to be the best he will call you out if you playin or actin “soft” in the game

    • rocnation30

      agree

  • Slaughtr

    If you read the article again you will completely understand what K is talking about.. I do and that is the same consistent ass beats, subject matter, everything is like recycled microwave food heat it up it’s hot then cools off fast because it was never dope to begin with. So my interpretation isn’t just faking hard shyt it’s solid strong heartfelt lyrics with punch. Now everybody has their opinion, on what the bs music game is but really if you don’t know any of these brothers personally shut the fck up, to see niggaz yapping like unknowing women is irritating but whatever. Innovation and change is not happening only stagnate hip hop which really it’s rap music. No disrespect to rap but the true elements are diminished due to the corporate boys holding entertainers by the nuts over hotel balconies. Constant Payola, fck ass radio directors taking vacations to consume today’s listener with what they think hip hop should be. Look around pants sagging, rhymes about popin bottles and clubs, minority women disrespected and holding being disrespected as a badge of honor. Whoever hates what I have to say I don’t give a fck because I will die with authentic hip hop in my soul so smashin out trash it gets dumped here so K do your thing and fck the hens let them keep cackling like hens that’s why most love to eat shyt.

    • orlando jackson

      what do you want them to talk about… you really think kendrick gonna make an album bout guns dat he never pooped or cars that he never drive? tell this coon ass nikka to get off the industry dick and go buy himself some twinkies

      • Brindle

        it aint about guns, its about a more aggressive attitude, persona and way of being… fools are scared to compete

      • orlando jackson

        so now only acting ruff count, then they go call rozay a fraud

      • Brindle

        nah, you trying to be too extreme to make a point, its impossible for you to not understand him or my response to you. You aint gotta be gangsta, just be a man, don’t come off like you like bad women today but might be gay tomorrow. I don’t care if they nerds, sing, dance, but quit trimming eye brows and avoiding conflict at all cost by claiming the high rode… Men need to be men, aint nobody gonna hurt you, and if they do, get up and be a man again…

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        well based offwhat you said then when troy Ave called kendrick a weirdo rapper, and then an interviewer asked Kendrick what he thought, instead of taking the high road and saying he never heard his music he should have said “yeah i never heard his music but Troy Ave aint fukkin with me weirdo or not”…. like you said men need to be men!

    • RightOn

      “No disrespect to rap but the true elements are diminished due to the corporate boys holding entertainers by the nuts over hotel balconies.” the most accurate I’ve read thus far that describes the state of hip hop today .

  • Brindle

    this is the post biggie and 2pac era where they all believe they were killed over rap beef. K dot is 100% right, it aint about guns, and shooting, its about being a man, not coming off look you a punk and going for anything.

  • BigHomie337

    The irony is amazing. He’s a soft nigga talking bout ppl lacking aggression. Dude isn’t anything special but his stans proclaim him to be the savior of rap. Lol. Dude is soft just not Drake soft. Just cuz he from Compton don’t mean he hard. Kendrick the dude that couldn’t leave his yard.

    • RightOn

      A dumb dumb like you probably takes the word in literal terms. K Dot is speaking in terms of aggressive on the mike and challenge/compete one another. No go impress your lil homies about how hard and hood you are.

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        i don’t think he sounds aggressive on the mic at all. Compare his style and tone to say Melle Mel, Run DMC, M.O.P, ODB, THIII etc; you wouldn’t even think K.Dot is the same gender! His interpretation of the term ‘aggressive’ represents the ‘Oestrogeneration’ perspective on masculinity.

      • rocnation30

        We know he was talking aggression on the MIC..anyone who actually listens to hiphop hopefully knows that…but kendrick is not that good everybody is dying for a some new hiphop savior to take over but guess what one aint shown up an it damn for sure aint kendrick….jay z kanye rick ross drake…is who we have as listeners thats actually got ppl and got music in a choke hold the rest of theses niggas is trash …albums are not consistent..and just can’t make an album u might can add jcole to that list but if his next album fails he’s done

      • BigHomie337

        Well once again he’s a hypocrit by your standards also than. Cuz Papoose, Cassidy, Joell, and others challenged him in the art form and he had no response. Hell, he just did an interview about Troy Ave calling him a weirdo and shit, and he blew it off. He doesn’t speak on social standards as far as government or civil rights in the tone of PE, so what aggression are u referring to? None. U a fan of dude music so I understand but don’t make it seem like what he said wasnt a contradiction. There’s nothing aggressive bout dude at all.

      • Taihair Djehuty

        He doesn’t speak on social social standards? You must have just started listen to Kendrick when he dropped GKMC.

        “Sitting on the couch, thinking bout the ratio of blacks in prison, it’s compact in prison when blacks packed with minorities, system grab more of these/ eighteen-year-olds, eighteen-year sentence/ with no parole, the state won’t oversee/ They make the term severe, a conspiracy/ That’s what I call it, it’s full of shit/ a toilet can help quick/ The government help? No, just put us on death row/ Just give us some more guns, then give us some more coke/ Then give us another chair, then give us some more rope/ Then hang it like right there, yeah, it’s justice for all/ But ninety-percent unfair, care? Nah

        Alcatraz was purchased by a white man for five grand

        with intentions to expand, more prisons/ So these correctionals ain’t for rehabilitation/ They for grossing a bigger business, imagine

        We being used, imagine, the truth shall be told”

      • Taihair Djehuty

        GKMC didn’t have much direct social commentary because it was an concept album that aimed at telling a story of growing up to his rise to stardom

    • rocnation30

      i agree…dont even like his raps like that i was feel in the album …GKMC..but it wasn’t great

    • majesticking

      WORD!

    • Arrie Mental Woodard

      bruh dont get attacked by the Kendrick stans. they will act as if you just insulted their grandmother on her funeral day! be careful fam, lmao! these mufukkas is crazy

      • BigHomie337

        I already know man. Smh

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        word!

    • Celz

      Stop it.. Who you like Game? But seriously who is hard? And emceein and gangbangin are two different things.. Eminem was hard on the mic but admits he used to get punked in his hood..

  • i’mreloaded!

    I find myself listening to less and less rap these days. I like Kendrick because he brings something new to the game besides the normal stale crap comin out. That whole TDE roster is well balanced and brings fresh stuff to the game.

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  • King Cold

    Lmao @ yall sittin there sayin this dude is soft. He came with one of the hardest and best albums ive heard in a long time. But since you wanna talk soft where are your favorite “hard” rappers at? Thats right nowhere in sight you couldnt spend the doe to buy the album instead the worst rappers took over. So stop bitchin. You wanna change hiphop then start supporting your “hard” artists then

    • Celz

      The same niccas who think Game is hard cuz he exaggerates/ lies about what he was doin in Compton.. Ya’ll niccas is soft if you think a dude is soft cuz he ain’t all banged out and ignorant..

      • King Cold

        MESSAGE!!!

  • Elayorx El

    Kendrick is that dude. Bottom line. I agree with others here that the aggression he speaks of, is that of a true MC, in terms of conviction, and strength, relative to issues of a particular magnitude. Not for nothing, I was almost hurt when Papoose obliterated him the way he did, over that Control verse a little while back. I thought they were in the works of building a real, viable, “East/West” link, that would have provided all the, “aggression” we needed, mixed with the proper amount of intelligence.(Compton/BK) I’m not sure Kendrick does not know though, that the majority of influential control truly comes from the top down, under the guise of it being the other way around. Maybe this is his way of “challenging” those that are still left, in terms of being able to make any kind of noise worth noting. Hopefully this also means that his next album will be beyond bananas.

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  • Arrie Mental Woodard

    if his next album isnt as dope as the first alot of these fan/stans may harm themselves! kendrick is dope but some of you have hyped him to legend status after one album…. listening to the way some of you grown men gush over dude, i dont see how he can live up to the standards you have set! smh!

    • Taihair Djehuty

      four albums

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        if you are referring to the ones that came before GKMC, i am aware of those. i dont consider them albums in th same vein as GKMC but i am aware of them and have them. my point is still valid no matter how we split hairs on the actual number of “albums”

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  • foshow38

    I don’t consider any of his music as “hard” but it’s good music regardless. Everything can’t be hard all the time. Music needs balance, the popcorn sh!t may not be for you but someone like’s it. As long it keeps hip-hop in motion the Culture wins!

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