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kendrick lamar quotes

101 Most Inspiring Kendrick Lamar Quotes

Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar was discovered by hip hop mogul Dr. Dre after releasing several popular mix tapes and was immediately signed to Aftermath Records. In fact, he almost attracted his dreams by having a pivotal childhood experience where he got to sit on his fathers shoulders to witness watching his idols Tupac and Dr.Dre film the California Love music video.

From these Kendrick Lamar quotes you will get to pick the brain of a creative genius who was once a beginner. Kendrick's talent did not come natural, but his inner passion and drive allowed him to devote his time and energy towards hip hop. While his peers were getting into trouble in the rough Compton streets, Kendrick gravitated towards music. The practice made perfect and he mastered the art of rapping by the age of around 16. His finished product and mastered craft came with smooth flow, a dictionary full of wordplay, and meaningful perspective changing lyrics.

Today, Kendrick Lamar spits with the best of them, and his songs, which bridge middle class hip hop fans with the streets, often challenges the lifestyle, ideologies and status quo's of society. His music makes his fans think, he puts spins on sensitive subjects to make you delve further, and he is dubbed as the 'realest' rapper in the game for not focusing on fancy clothes, mansions, cars and women. From his profound poetry, society challenging lyrics, influential interviews, and his wise, bold viewpoints, here are the 101 most inspiring Kendrick Lamar quotes ever.

1.) The Deep Seeded Purpose:

"My whole thing is to inspire, to better people, to better myself forever in this thing that we call rap, this thing that we call hip hop." - Kendrick Lamar

2.) The Real Motivation For The Money:

"I always thought money was something just to make me happy. But I've learned that I feel better being able to help my folks, 'cause we never had nothing. So just to see them excited about my career is more of a blessing than me actually having it for myself." - Kendrick Lamar

3.) Stay True To Your Self And The Sky Is The Limit:

"As long as my music is real, it's no limit to how many ears I can grab."- Kendrick Lamar 

4.) On Being A Role Model:

"I think one of my biggest battles within myself is embracing leadership. You always grow up and you hate the term "role model." You would say, "I don't wanna be a role model. I don't want none of that." ... It's impossible to fight the title of role model. Especially when the type of music I make is so personal." - Kendrick Lamar

5.) Be Fearless And Your Life Will Be Limitless:

"At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out. Now I'll talk about being beaten up or robbed or making a stupid decision because of a girl or whatever." - Kendrick Lamar 

6.) Be The Truest Extension of Yourself:

“I learned, when I look in the mirror and tell my story, that I should be myself and not peep whatever everybody is doing." - Kendrick Lamar

7.) Kendrick Lamar Quote About Challenging Yourself:

"Whatever pressure I feel all comes from me, from within. I always was that person who was hard on myself and challenged myself no matter what I was doing, whether it was passing third grade or playing basketball." - Kendrick Lamar


"Life is sad in general and I'm meeting these different people every day. It kind've snaps me back into reality outside of what I do. Outside of the girls, outside of the cars, the money, it really ain't that important when you meeting somebody that's still in the struggle." - Kendrick Lamar

9.) Aim High & Then Aim Higher

"I think my vice would be outdoing myself." - Kendrick Lamar


"Don't you know your imperfections is a wonderful blessing, from heaven is where you got it from." - Kendrick Lamar 


"Look inside my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich. Look inside of your soul and you can find out it never exists..." - Kendrick Lamar


"I'm Machiavelli's offspring, I'm the king of New York, king of the coast, one hand, I juggle them both." - Kendrick Lamar 

13.) The Definition Self Worthiness:

"It's a great, great experience to finally get the reception that you know you rightfully deserve." - Kendrick Lamar 


"I ain't a drinker I'm a thinker, call it what you want." - Kendrick Lamar

15.) On Traveling The Path Of The 'Unknown':

"The worst part of success is, to me, adapting to it. It's scary." - Kendrick Lamar

16.) The Struggle Is Real:

“My folks ain't graduated from high school or nothing like that, so we always had to struggle in the family - and I come from a big family." - Kendrick Lamar


People gonna be they own individuals and have they own worlds and I can't knock it." - Kendrick Lamar


"I'm always paranoid. I'm already a person who thinks a lot; sometimes I may overthink things or think too much. So when you're put into a space where you feel like you can't necessarily trust your close ones, that can do some whole other crazy thing to you psychologically. Seriously. All you got is you and God at the end of the day." - Kendrick Lamar


"I think my worst problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that's going on. I feel like I'm in my own bubble." - Kendrick Lamar 

20.) How The Passion & Ambition Grew Stronger:

"I've got an extra-specific story about Dr. Dre. I saw him when I was 9 years old in Compton - him and Tupac. They were shooting the second 'California Love' video. My pops had seen him and ran back to the house and got me, put me on his neck, and we stood there watching Dre and Pac in a Bentley." - Kendrick Lamar


"I'm putting out this free music, constantly putting it out." - Kendrick Lamar

22.) Listen First, Then Speak:

"I probably spent more time listening to albums than writing songs. But I think that gave me all the tricks in terms of wordplay, from how I pronounced my words to the actual delivery." - Kendrick Lamar 

23.) Kendrick Lamar Quote About Having A Limitless Philosophy:

"Knock these walls down, that's my religion." - Kendrick Lamar  


"Sonnymoon and Quadrants are a couple of bands that really inspire me in terms of the melodics of things and certain tones and just what feels good. It takes me back to the type of music that I grew up on in my household. We played a lot of gangsta rap, but we also played a lot of oldies, and I think that mix is part of what inspires my sound." - Kendrick Lamar


"I battle with it all the time and the idea of being in all these places — the big spots, all the events, the lights — it's all for your ego. It's all for your own confirmation to be like, OK, I'm somebody. But truthfully, you've always been somebody. You don't need the lights." - Kendrick Lamar

26.) Say 'No' To The "Yes' People:

"The best thing is to always keep honest people around, because when you have a bunch of yes men around that know that you're making a mistake but let you go on with it, that's when it ruins your mind state as an artist." - Kendrick Lamar 


"I believe in this theory that when you get success and you get fame and money, it makes you be you times 10. I was a pretty shy and to-myself type of person as a kid. And now 15 years later I'm in front of people every day, tens of thousands of people. So that makes me more of a recluse. That makes me not come outside of my world on the outskirts of LA and bounce around different places and things like that." - Kendrick Lamar 


“The Universe energy doesn't lie." - Kendrick Lamar

29.) Addicted To Excellence:

“Since day one, since the first time I touched the pen, I wanted to be the best at what I do." - Kendrick Lamar

30.) Aware Of The Pressure:

"From the moment I started writing raps, I was always aware of the pressure. I always wanted to live up to how huge Snoop got, how huge Dre got, how huge Pac got. I was always aware." - Kendrick Lamar


"God to me is love." - Kendrick Lamar


“It's definitely a gift and a curse when you make music as personal as I make it. Of course you get the kids out there that say that they relate to you and this song saved their lives, and you helped them with their assignment for this and that. And then at the same time, your privacy is not respected ... it's just something that I've gotta accept." - Kendrick Lamar

33.) Kendrick Lamar Quote About Being Blatantly Honest:

“It's easy to forget who you are." - Kendrick Lamar


"I don't really believe in the type of pressure that people are wanting to put on the type of music that I make." - Kendrick Lamar


"Groups break up because they never got across what they wanted to do personally, and they have creative differences, and egos start to clash." - Kendrick Lamar

36.) Learning How To Take Feedback From Pharell:

"I was nervous because I didn't think the people would understand it. And I get a call from Pharrell. He said he had a copy of the album and it's amazing ... Pharrell said, "Never feel that way again. When that little negative man come behind your head, always follow your first heart, and that was your first heart, to put the album out like this." This is his words verbatim, he said, "Watch what's gonna happen." - Kendrick Lamar


"I'm constantly thinking." - Kendrick Lamar


"I always tell people that if I move anywhere it would be Toronto." - Kendrick Lamar

38.) On Using His Music To Express Imperfections:

"I see conflict. But the conflict is what makes it relatable. I'm conflicted; you're conflicted. I'm not perfect - nobody is. I'm just blessed to be able to express my conflict through song." - Kendrick Lamar


"But what love got to do with it when you don't love yourself?" - Kendrick Lamar

40.) Kendrick Lamar Lyrics From 'I':

“Everybody looking at you crazy, what you gone do? Lift up your head and keep moving, or let the paranoia haunt you? Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart. On my sleeve let the runway start. You know the miserable do love company. What do you want from me and my scars? Everybody lack confidence, everybody lack confidence. How many times our potential was anonymous? How many times the city making me promises? So I promise this... And I love myself" - Kendrick Lamar


If I'm gonna tell a real story, I'm gonna start with my name." - Kendrick Lamar


"This is more than just music for me. This is actually a piece of me. I'm obsessed with it. And that's how I take it. .. Taking those and going into that booth, that's something that I hold dear." - Kendrick Lamar

43.) A Lyrically Empowering Message:

“Take advantage. Do your best, don't stress. You was granted everything inside this planet, anything you imagine, you possess." - Kendrick Lamar


"You really can't categorize my music, it's human music." - Kendrick Lamar

45.) The Power Within Decisions:

"The moment I made that decision to get in the studio and actually work and study the culture of hip-hop, then everything just started to open up and blossom for me." - Kendrick Lamar


“Every time I write these words they become a taboo, making sure my punctuation curve, every letter here's true. Living my life in the margin, and that metaphor was proof." - Kendrick Lamar


"I like to let things breathe." - Kendrick Lamar


"People are used to music that justifies street culture but something that's not touched on is why these kids act the way they act, live the way they live." - Kendrick Lamar


"Just let me be me, That's the only way I know." - Kendrick Lamar

50.) Environments And Influence:

"You grow up inside these neighborhoods and these communities, and you have friends, friends that you love, friends that you grew up with since elementary. And you have their trust, and you have their loyalty. So it brings influence. So no matter how much of a leader I thought I was, I was always under the influence, period." - Kendrick Lamar


"Being able to tell one from start to finish, and making that puzzle come together at the end. That's the art for me." - Kendrick Lamar


“It's the beauty in her. But when the makeup occur, I don't see it all I see is a blur." - Kendrick Lamar

53.) More Kendrick Lamar Lyrics From 'I':

“The sky can fall down, the wind can cry now. The strong in me, I still smile." - Kendrick Lamar

54.) Be Around People With Similar Desires:

"I'm tryna learn something new. I'm tryna surround myself with people that inspire me or atleast inquire similar desire." - Kendrick Lamar

55.) Kendrick Lamar Lyrics From 'Faith':

“So the next time you feel like your worlds about to end, I hope you studied because he's testing your faith again." - Kendrick Lamar

56.) Kendrick Lamar Lyrics From 'Radioactive':

“Everything in life subject to change, change whip, change grind. Change clothes, change opinions, right before I change my mind." - Kendrick Lamar

57.) Getting Rid Of The Ego:

“I had a talk with Lauryn Hill and she said, “Try to completely throw away your ego.” How many times can you throw away an ego, you know? It’s tough. It’s something we all battle with." - Kendrick Lamar


"When I go into the studio - it [words] has to sound the way I heard it in my head. So that's probably one of the biggest things that separates me when I'm working in the studio - just how I hear certain things." - Kendrick Lamar

59.) Kendrick Lamar Lyrics From 'Poetic Justice':

“If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?" - Kendrick Lamar


“Brother Kendrick Lamar: he's not a rapper, he's a writer, he's an author. And if you read between the lines, we'll learn how to love one another. But you can't do that, I said you can't do that, without loving yourself first." - Kendrick Lamar


"Live your life, live it right, be different, do different things." - Kendrick Lamar

62.) Dream Your Way Out Of The Struggles:

“What separated me from all my homeboys is the fact that I didn't get caught inside the reality. I was always dreaming about doing something else or going somewhere else." - Kendrick Lamar


"I want you to recognize that I'm a proud monkey." - Kendrick Lamar


"My rights, my wrongs, I write ‘til I’m right with God." - Kendrick Lamar


"I stare at the mirror. Then realize that "real" lies within me." - Kendrick Lamar

66.) Follow Dreams Not Trends:

“Ya'll don't want me to win. I'm tryna follow dreams, you want me to follow trends." - Kendrick Lamar

67.) Challenge Yourself: Every Step Of The Way

“What's crazy to me is that I feel the same energy now that I felt before my first album. I know there's lot of pressure for me on this new album but it don't necessarily scare me. It's almost confirmation, like, go in there and challenge yourself just the same way you challenged yourself the first time." - Kendrick Lamar

68.) A Grateful Kendrick:

"I knew I was blessed with a gift of having both parents." - Kendrick Lamar


“I live this life at a pace that anyone can go. Know your place, and dedicate your role...To the faith that you'll die alone." - Kendrick Lamar

70.) Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin:

"Once I looked in the mirror and decided this is who I am, and I'm not scared of who I am, and I'm not scared that I can't be like you, and I'm good with just doing me, that's when I found myself, as a man." - Kendrick Lamar


"When you go on your Twitter or look down your Timeline and it's all great positivity - I love that. But at the same time, it can really divert you from what your purpose is or what you're trying to do. And I've seen artists get caught up in that." - Kendrick Lamar

72.) Kendrick Lamar Quote On Being Human:

"My lyrics say I have morals, I have confidence, I have weaknesses, I have strong points, that I am a human being." - Kendrick Lamar


“God to me is love. It's the ruler of all things, whether it's with a person or with music or with your TV. I feel like it's this energy. God is energy, love is energy." - Kendrick Lamar


"The opposite of love? Vice. Temptation. The negative influences that we have. The bad energy that comes around us and makes us do certain things. To me, it's always been a war between the two." - Kendrick Lamar

75.) Lyrics From 'Swimming Pools':

"Mark my word, I'm a make my mark, even when they start their martial Law. Even when these martians alienate, my mental state is still at heart." - Kendrick Lamar


"When I'm in the studio I'm looking for a feeling I haven't felt. It's a high." - Kendrick Lamar

77.) Lyrics From 'Faith':

"I'd rather not live like there isn't a God Then die and find out there really is. Think about it." - Kendrick Lamar


"You can have the platinum album, but when you still feel like you haven't quite found your place in the world - it kind of gives a crazy offset." - Kendrick Lamar

79.) Living In The Now:

"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." - Kendrick Lamar

80.) A Deeper Desire:

"I got a greater purpose. God put something in my heart to get across and that's what I'm going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done." - Kendrick Lamar


“Love is not just a verb, it's you looking in the mirror." - Kendrick Lamar

82.) Be A Leader, Not A Sheep:

Can't let the government tell how my future lookin." - Kendrick Lamar


"This is truly a blessing from a higher power, and as long as I understand that, there's really no limitations to what I can do." - Kendrick Lamar


"Eventually you get to this point where you understand what you want to do and get across and sound like." - Kendrick Lamar

85.) :

"I'm sticking to the script, I'm putting that organic feeling back in the game." - Kendrick Lamar

86.) Reality Is The Problem:

"Hip hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation. This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves." - Kendrick Lamar

87.) Hold Yourself And Your Standards High:

"I always felt like there was a certain standard of music that I had to do from the beginning, even when I didn't have the recognition that I have now." - Kendrick Lamar

88.) Always Be Mentally Prepared

"What I do is for a greater purpose and we all need money and things like that to survive, but the energy around some of these spaces, it can draw you into a crazy place. And I've seen and heard some of the greats go out because of it. And I'm saying this right now to let everyone know, it's real and you have to be mentally steady 100% in order to keep doing it at a high level and still maintain your sanity." - Kendrick Lamar

89.)  Kendrick Lamar Quote About Changing Yourself:

"The message I'm sending to myself - I can't change the world until I change myself first." - Kendrick Lamar

90.) Overcome The Obstacles:

"Life will put many red lights in front of you, but sometimes we must push on the gas and trust god." - Kendrick Lamar


"I had to come from something, come from a place that was negative and positive but the majority of it is a negative place." - Kendrick Lamar


"We hurt people that love us, love people that hurt us." - Kendrick Lamar


"We all get distracted, the question is, would you bounce back or bounce backwards?" - Kendrick Lamar

94.) Helping Others Is The Ultimate Happiness:

I always thought confirmation would be having a lot of money, and things I could do for my family. Because that was what we was taught when you come from these urban neighborhoods. ... So once I got the money and everything else that comes with it, I felt like I wasn't satisfied ... but I don't even spend it on myself, I spend it on my loved ones. That makes me feel good knowing I can support somebody that's in need." - Kendrick Lamar


"I don't do black music, I don't do white music. I do everyday life music." - Kendrick Lamar


“My greatest fulfillment of accomplishment was having somebody that I looked up to for so many years and knowing that I put in that same dedication and work and them saying, "Thank you." And them being able to recite them lyrics." - Kendrick Lamar


“You can't change where you from. You can't take a person out of their zone and expect them to be somebody else now that they in the record industry. It's gonna take years. Years of travelling. Years of meeting people. Years of seeing the world." - Kendrick Lamar

98.) Forget The Trends:

“Sometimes you have the trends that's not that cool. You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don't really have that lifestyle, and then it gives off the wrong thing. And it becomes kinda corny after awhile. It's really about keeping hip-hop original and pushing away the corniness in it." - Kendrick Lamar


"Build your own pyramids, write your own hieroglyphs." - Kendrick Lamar

100.) Begin Within:

“What happened to [Michael Brown] should've never happened. Never. But when we don't have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don't start with just a rally, don't start from looting - it starts from within." - Kendrick Lamar

101.) Kendrick's Early Influences:

"My pops and my mom started playing Marvin Gaye and the Isley Brothers and all these people, but at the same time, they always had Snoop on right behind it in the same mix." - Kendrick Lamar

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