Kendrick Lamar earned an incredible 11 Grammy nominations, most of which are for his 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, which is considered to be one of the best albums of 2015. The album has also sold over 750,000 copies so far while being streamed 375 million times, according to Nielsen Music. The rapper is more than pleased with the success of his project and looks to be hungry for more.
“Ultimately, for the hip-hop community, I would love for us to win them all,” Lamar says, when asked if there was one award he wishes the most to win. “Because we deserve that. Period.”
Lamar feels that the nominations simply illustrate that people view To Pimp a Butterfly as more than just a collection of singles, but as a cohesive, artistic project. Much like his previous albums, he wanted this one to be a meaningful body of work and to be remembered as such. Kendrick notes that he has grown as a songwriter and lyricist and wanted that to shine through, as well as the musicianship and arrangements.
The 11 nominations, just one less than the highest record holder — Michael Jackson — is more than enough for Kendrick Lamar. The rapper isn’t even too concerned about heading out on a world tour for Butterfly just yet.
“The album just felt like an intimate process. It was all feeling. Maybe in another five, 10 years we’ll be able to take it on a world tour and give it its proper exposure. But present time, I just want to hold it dear. I didn’t want to overexpose it. It could be in arenas one day. I don’t feel like the time is right.”
But the rapper does say that he is currently writing music at all times, and it is something he prides himself on. He also talks about being a positive role model to so many of his listeners and says it is something he’s still in the process of getting used to.
Kendrick Lamar has been nominated for Album of the Year, Best Rap Album, Song of the Year (for “Alright”), Best Rap Performance (for “Alright”), and two for Best Music Video (one for his song “Alright,” the other for Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood’). In addition, he is nominated for Best Rap Song (Kanye West’s “All Day”), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“These Walls”), Best Dance Recording (“Never Catch Me”), and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Bad Blood.”
“I want all of them,” Kendrick says. “Because it’s not only a statement for myself, but it’s a statement for the culture. They’re all important, because of the foundation the forefathers laid before me.”
Winning big at the Grammys in 2016 will be a very happy event for many hip-hop heads, who feel the rapper was slighted when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist won over Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.a.a.d. city. When accepting the award for Best Rap Album, Macklemore himself admitted Kendrick had the better album, but Lamar wasn’t upset about it.
Talking to XXL, Kendrick said “It’s well deserved; he did what he did, man. He went out there and hustled and grinded. Everything happens for a reason; the universe comes back around, that’s how it go.”
[Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Power 105.1’s Powerhouse 2015]