Kendrick Lamar - Complex August/September 2014

With the pressure on to shake the sophomore jinx, following his breakout debut good Kid, m.A.A.d City, Kendrick Lamar covers the August/September 2014 issue of Complex.

For the cover story, the rap star offers unprecedented access to his recording process, which is rarely seen.

Kendrick tells the mag there’s less pressure on him this time around than before his debut dropped, when he was admittedly “super nervous.” “I was on the tour bus going back and forth on the text with Pharrell. I asked him, ‘You think they gon’ get it?’ And he told me, ‘Don’t ever doubt yourself again. Always be aware but don’t ever mistake your first mind, your input of where your heart is at,’ ” Kendrick said.

This was 2012. Fast forward to two years later, he trusts that his creative process will lead him where he needs to go. “If I keep focusing on, ‘I need to make something better than good kid,’ it’s going to be just that,” he explains. “That’s not challenging yourself. I don’t want to become that person reflecting on what has been done. What I’m doing now is the question. I’m only as good as my last word, my last hook, my last bridge.”

Later, Complex details their time in the studio with Kendrick, has he records a verse over and over until its right.

The August/September 2014 issue drops on newsstands this week.