For XXL’s final copy of 2015, they recruited Kendrick Lamar to pen his own piece. Closing out one of his most (if not the most) successful years in his career, Kendrick returned to XXL to write up a second piece for the legendary magazine. This time around, the Compton rapper on the reactions to his highly-acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly, socio-political issues, racism, having power, his feelings about success and more. He also shed some light on earlier parts of his life, such as having the police storm his house when he was a teenager. You can read a select passage from his piece below, as well as check out some behind-the-scenes footage from the photoshoot. You can read more about his essay here, while the entire magazine and feature will be out on December 22.
“I know I’m chosen. I know I’m a favorite. I know in my heart there’s a whole other energy and leadership side of me that I have probably run from my whole life. How much power do I want? How much can I handle? That’s the question I keep asking myself. ’Cause when you are a voice for the youth, nothing can stop you. The youth is what changes things. Can I lead that? Should I? I get confused because people are championing me to be that vocal point and it’s a challenge for me to be that because I have some fear of that type of power. This goes back to me being who I naturally am or who think that I am now, that 28-year-old kid that’s kind’ve a recluse. But 28 is old enough for me to figure out who I am and have that power at the same time, that’s the battle and it’s a trip.”