If you think Kendrick Lamar and his 2012 debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, getting shut out of the 2014 Grammys would mean that he no longer cared about the annual awards, think again. Though he couldn't be faulted for that conclusion, and his decision to not show up at this year's ceremony, during which he won two awards for "i," suggested as much, it sounds like he's as eager as ever to take home some hardware.
"I want all of them," he told the New York Times of the 11 awards that he's up for at the February show. "Because it’s not only a statement for myself, but it’s a statement for the culture. They’re all important, because of the foundation the forefathers laid before me. Nas didn’t get a chance to be in that position. Pac. So to be acknowledged and to actually win, it’s for all of them."
Despite that hunger, he did voice an appreciation with the simple fact that he was nominated.
"That’s the biggest accomplishment as far as the nominations: that people recognize it as an album," he said. "It’s not just a collection [of songs]. We pride ourselves on that. I wanted it to be that body of work again the same way I did with my first record. This time around, I wanted to make sure that not only were the lyrics appreciated or the beats, but the musicianship, as far as my writing skills, my arrangements. That’s me challenging myself."
In addition to Grammy talk, Kendrick also briefly discussed the year in hip-hop -- and, specifically, the two artists who, along with Dot himself, round out many rap top threes for the year. "Of course Future killed it. He smashed. Drake smashed," he said, adding that he didn't pay attention to the Drake and Meek Mill drama. "Future’s work ethic was crazy, his energy. This is the thing about hip-hop music and where people get it most misconstrued: It’s all hip-hop. You can’t say that just what I do is hip-hop, because hip-hop is all energies. James Brown can get on the track and mumble all day. But guess what: You felt his soul on those records."
As for his own new music? It's coming. At some point.
"I’m just writing, writing, writing," he promised. "I keep these tablets on me until I’m inspired to go back in and make the music. I never take a break from my pen, because I pride myself on that. As far as a break from music, yeah, I can’t just go in and force myself. I have to come from an original and organic place. It can come tomorrow; it can come two years from now."
Let's just hope it's closer to the tomorrow.