December 29, 2015


Kendrick Lamar Talks About Witnessing His First Murder at Age Five

Leon Bennett/WireImage
Leon Bennett/WireImage

Kendrick Lamar hit NPR's Morning Edition on Tuesday (Dec. 29), and it got really real really quick. The Compton MC has never shied away from talking about gang culture and violence in his music, but his story of the first time he saw someone killed, when he was five, is chilling:

"It was outside my apartment unit. A guy was out there serving his narcotics and somebody rolled up with a shotgun and blew his chest out. Admittedly, it done something to me right then and there. It let me know that this is not only something that I'm looking at, but it's something that maybe I have to get used to—you dig what I'm saying?"

K. Dot goes on to discuss being naturally influenced by his close friends in his community. "So no matter how much of a leader I thought I was, I was always under the influence, period. Most of the times, when they were involved in these acts of destruction, I was right there."

Kendrick speaks about losing a friend who was "like my little brother" over the summer of 2015, adding that he "probably lost more friends in this past summer than any other summer."

The interview also gets into the various mindsets Kendrick finds himself in while writing, recording and touring. Once good kid, m.A.A.d city went platinum, he still felt "a crazy offset" within himself due to not feeling like he'd found himself or his "place in the world." "When you go inside these places," he says, "no matter how much money you have, no matter how much success, when you still feel like you're not comfortable, where's the feeling in that?"

Listen to Kendrick Lamar's NPR Morning Edition interview here.