Kendrick Lamar doesn't need our attention
K Dot explained his outlook on social media and fame in a new interview.
Kendrick Lamar refreshingly doesn’t do the traditional social media dance. He’s infamously cryptic, opting instead for infrequent, poetic posts to his own website, reminiscent of LiveJournal. Last summer he finally announced through that format that his long-awaited next album would be coming, which it did this summer in the form of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. In that post though, one sentence gave big perspective into the artist’s process: “I go months without a phone.” Now, in a new interview with Citizen Magazine, K. Dot spoke more about his relationship with the internet and his own fame.
“People ask me, ‘Man, you’ve never been on social media, you really hate it?’” he said. “Bro, I don’t really know how to use it like that to be 100% real with you.” But his colleagues and loved ones keep him abreast of what the social conversation is. “I got friends, family, my team, they send me things, so I got good sentiments on what’s going on.”
But for Lamar, abstaining from socials isn’t just a mental health decision, it’s an artistic one. “I’ve always been a person that really didn’t dive too headfirst into wanting and needing attention. I mean, we all love attention, but for me, I don’t necessarily adore it. I use it when I want to communicate something,” he admitted.
“If I feel I have to remove myself, I just remove myself. I won’t complain about it. I won’t cause a big blow-up or a big stir and let the world know that the walls are closing in. Being able to be aware [of myself emotionally] and be able to eventually grow— emotionally mature to that level, it may take more time than the next man,” he continued. “That’s why I never point fingers when artists are not capable of upholding themselves in that type of stressful position because some people grow different and it takes time especially…when who they are and who they want to be sometimes gets distorted. For me, it’s all about being aware of how I’m feeling. If it is too much, let me remove myself for a couple of years.”
It’s a perspective that’s reflected on his new record. As Mic’s music critic Paul Thompson writes of Mr. Morale, “It’s mostly about phones and the internet. Kendrick — who early on recounts ‘text messaging bitches until [his] thumbs hurt’ — is obsessed not only with how those things enable our basest, most lustful selves, but the ways they commodify what should be uncommodifiable and render virtually all communication insincere.” So while Kendrick shirks the internet and the interactions he could be having with it as a wildly famous person, its existence doesn’t escape him. Regardless, you likely won’t catch K Dot on an IG Live anytime soon — you’ll have to wait for a website update or a rare tweet when he feels like talking.