Show Transcript
What's going on? It's Kendrick Lamar right here with Essence. There's a lot of kids that grew up the way I did, that feel like it's no way out. We don't get a lot of celebrities or what not to come to the city and actually put they hand back in the city and say, you know what, you can do it too. So I feel like it's only right that I champion them, let them know I'll always be behind them, let them know I know the sacrifices and the struggles they go through, and give them some kind of inspiration. The message to take away from To **** A Butterfly, if there was one word, it would be leadership. That's what the album -. That's one of the pieces of the album for me that's important, about my leadership and kind of figure out what I want to do with it. Being from Compton, it's hard to actually escape the ills of what I am used to. Now I can take my fame, my fortune and do this to the neighborhood or I can do something positive and give back some game. So if anything whatever situation we're in, always go back to leadership and who you have behind you that actually looks up to you. That's your responsibility. I heard my vocals play back and my boy Dave Free's garage, I was like 16, but yeah it was like that. I wanted the team to keep hearing it cuz I didnt think I sound like that, you know, but it always intrigued me and the more and more I kept doing it, the more and more [UNKNOWN] I wanna keep doing. You know when are a kid, you don't know what you're doing. You're just doing it for the love of it, for the passion of it. The first time I really see that I was impacting, I met a young lady. Actually she shed a tear over record idea on my mixed tape, I think it was section 80 and that's when I knew some serious more than just Beats and rhymes that actually some people can relate to.. Prince, the late Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, them particular cats was the main people that was played in my household. You know, I actually wanted Prince on Complexion. But it was like deadline and we trying to make things work. But he respected the record, so that gave me the fuel to still slap it on there and continue the concept. But those artists for sure they inspired it. Yo, what's popping y'all. It's Kendrick Lamar letting you know. Make sure you come see me perform Essence Festival. I will be there rocking out with y'all, stay tuned, cool. [MUSIC]

Real Talk with Kendrick Lamar

The ESSENCE Festival headliner shares his thoughts on leadership, giving back to the community and being inspired by Prince.