As Kendrick Lamar prepares his follow up to his good kid, m.A.A.d city album he appears on the cover of Billboard magazine’s latest issue. He speaks on Iggy Azalea, debuting new music on The Colbert Report, police violence and more.

On Iggy Azalea:

“She’s doing her thing,” he says. “Let her. People have to go through trials and tribulations to get where they at. Do your thing, continue to rock it, because obviously God wants you here.”

On debuting new music on The Colbert Report:

“I just like the energy” of the song, says Lamar. “I didn’t go on there to sell a single. I just did what I felt.” Such is the prerogative of Kendrick Lamar, widely hailed as hip-hop’s savior in a period when few rappers seem committed to art for art’s sake. While image-conscious leading MCs like Drake and Nicki Minaj competitively hone their craft and tally hits, Lamar seems intent on transcending what he calls the “sport” of rap: “I pride myself on writing now rather than rapping,” he says. “My passion is bringing storylines around and constructing a full body of work, rather than just a 16-bar verse.”


Read the full cover story here.