Kendrick Lamar Reveals The Fan Interactions That He Finds Rewarding, But ‘Emotionally Draining’

As one of the best-selling and most impactful rappers in music today, Kendrick Lamar has touched many fans’ lives. In some cases, though, that can lead fans to overshare when they meet him in real life, even if they have good intentions. In a conversation with his cousin and budding artist Baby Keem for Vice, the Pulitzer Prize winner warns the younger artist about the one kind of fan interaction that will give him “some real therapy.”

When Keem reveals that he doesn’t “want to do anything the common way,” Kendrick counsels that his “interesting story” will make fans relate to him. When that happens, he says, “There’s no pressure when you arrive at that place.” However, Kendrick warns that once pandemic conditions are over and Keem begins to meet fans in person things may change: “When you do, it’s gonna give you some real therapy because you’ll know how many people you touch.”

“Because of all this shit going on, you’ve not been able to experience a fan walking over to you, telling you, ‘You stopped me from killing myself,’” he advises. “It can be emotionally draining as well as rewarding, that’s part of the game. You’re a voice for a lot of young people, a lot of older people too.”

Keem seems to take his advice in stride, though, citing a “mini-tour” he took before the COVID outbreak that helped him put things in perspective before he really took off this year with placement on XXL‘s Freshman Class cover. “I feel my thing now is to detach myself from the wrong things and attach myself to the right things, things that I should feel,” he says.

Read the full conversation between Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem here.