Lamar looks back at the legacy of a fellow Compton icon.
Kendrick Lamar has been paying homage to a host of influential figures in his career this year. Lamar has interviewed the surviving members of N.W.A. and Quincy Jones in the last few months, and recently published an open letter to 2pac. He’s now penned a similar tribute to Eazy-E for Paper Magazine, talking about how heavily Eazy influenced his childhood and career.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Eazy and I wouldn’t be able to say the things that I say, talk about my community the way I talk about it, for good or for bad,” Kendrick said in conversation with Paper. “He’s 100% influenced me in terms of really being not only honest with myself, but honest about where I come from and being proud of where I come from.”
“I remember when I was five or six years old,” he continues. “Waking up one morning and seeing this guy bust through the TV screen, rapping over some song called “We Want Eazy” — I think the concept of the video was that he was actually in jail and he had to get to his show and the only way to get to his concert was to film him from jail, and he eventually busted through the jail and came onstage. I remember looking at that video and just feeling like, “Man, this dude feels like an action superhero.” Little did I know, Eazy-E came from my same neighborhood in Compton.”
Read the entire tribute via Paper Magazine.