For me, Kendrick Lamar is the poet of our generation and someone I file under conscious rap. His words can help us look at ourselves differently and positively.
To see his growth as an artist and as a person since 2008 when I saw him at a small venue in Times Square, has been for me, a masterclass in following your purpose.
Whether you’re going for a career in marketing, engineering, IT, or any of the arts, if you’re trying to differentiate yourself in your chosen field, Kendrick can inspire. We’re trying to find our unique voices, and ultimately, to be ourselves and let them love us for it.
That’s what I think Kendrick has achieved and why he’ll be around longer than most. It’s also why you may want to use some of his quotes and lyrics as inspiration for your life and dreams.
As part of our series called, How to be, here’s a compilation of Kendrick Lamar to think on.
The sky is falling, the wind is calling. Stand for something, or die in the morning.
I’m a person of my own opinions, that’s how I was raised. I speak what I feel. A lot of people feel the same way but they’re scared to talk. They’re really scared of the truth – they only want half of the truth. I’ve been living like that – forever in fear – but I know what to say and how to say it now. I ain’t scared of myself. Y’all may be scared; I’m not scared.
What separated me from all my homeboys is the fact that I didn’t get caught inside the reality. I was always dreaming about doing something else or going somewhere else.
Tell me how I stay positive when they never see good in me.
Once I looked in the mirror and decided this is who I am, and I’m not scared of who I am, and I’m not scared that I can’t be like you, and I’m good with just doing me, that’s when I found myself, as a man.
Eventually you get to this point where you understand what you want to do and get across and sound like.
The moment I made that decision to get in the studio and actually work and study the culture of hip-hop, then everything just started to open up and blossom for me.
As long as my music is real, it’s no limit to how many ears I can grab.
At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out. Now I’ll talk about being beaten up or robbed or making a stupid decision because of a girl or whatever.
Live your life, live it right. Be different, do different things.
I’m trying to learn something new. I’m trying to surround myself with people that inspire me, or at least inquire similar desire.
…I’ve hurt people in my life. It’s something I still have to think about when I sleep at night. The message I’m sending to myself – I can’t change the world until I change myself first.
Sometimes you just need to distance yourself from people… if they care, they’ll notice. If they don’t, you know where you stand.
My whole thing is to inspire, to better people, to better myself forever in this thing that we call rap, this thing that we call hip hop.
Take advantage. Do your best, don’t stress. You was granted everything inside this planet, anything you imagine, you possess.
I got a greater purpose. God put something in my heart to get across and that’s what I’m going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done.
Don’t you know your imperfections is a blessing.
[Kendrick] is not a rapper, he’s a writer, he’s an author. And if you read between the lines, we’ll learn how to love one another. But you can’t do that, I said you can’t do that, without loving yourself first.