Kendrick Lamar Admits He Stalled His Career by Trying to Chase Hits

The guy who better win Album of the Year at next year’s Grammys is gracing the cover of Variety’s special Hitmakers issue. In an accompanying pair of interviews, that guy—Kendrick Lamar—discussed his idea of what constitutes a so-called “hit record,” the importance of the album format, his creative process, his growth as an artist, and his fruitful relationship with Mike Will Made-It.

“Is it the amount of streams or the amount of sales or the amount of spins on the radio?” Lamar asked of what makes a “hit record” click. “Nobody can really justify which one it is, because I’ve heard hundreds of records from inside the neighborhood that were quote-unquote ‘hit records’ and never stood a day outside the community.”

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