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Kendrick Lamar Says He 'Needs' SZA To Win A VMA

He raves about the Best New Artist nominee to MTV News

When Kendrick Lamar hits the VMAs this weekend — where he’s performing and nominated for eight awards — he won’t be the only artist representing TDE. Another member of his label family, SZA, is nominated for Best New Artist after dropping her debut album, CTRL, earlier this year.

Speaking to MTV News correspondent Gaby Wilson recently, Kendrick explained why SZA’s nomination is so “well-deserved.”

“I watched her slave over and over to make a masterpiece that not only represents her, but represents women all over the world,” he said. “[CTRL] is a record where it touched so many demographics — not only just women, but men. Something that we all can feel. It touched so many different spaces and connected with so many people. There’s nothing much more I can say — she needs to win.”

CTRL resonated with Kendrick so much that he jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the album — he's featured on “Doves in the Wind,” an ode to the beauty and sexuality of the female body.

“That’s a record that I heard her vibing out with months prior to the actual album coming out,” he said. “It’s a record that I always loved. It just had a vibe to it. I never heard a female artist come from that perspective. It’s aggressive and it’s unapologetic. It just made me feel a certain type of way where I wanted to give my perspective.”

The beat on “Doves in the Wind” was one thing that attracted Kendrick to it but, mostly, he said, it was the song's opening line that stuck out the most.

“Ice Cube always said from the jump, ‘The first line has to be the line that draws everyone.’ Her first line, when she played it, ‘Real n****’s do not deserve pussy.’ Come on,” Kendrick said. “That just drew me in. Her storytelling progresses, and it just lured me into writing my own verse.”

And the rest is sexy, all-consuming R&B history. As for a potential video for the track, Kendrick says we’d have to ask SZA herself, but admitted, “I would love that.” Fingers crossed!

Find out if SZA wins her first Moon Person when the 2017 VMAs touch down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See the full list of nominees and vote for Best New Artist now!