Snapshot: Kendrick Lamar + Miguel cover VIBE magazine


Being hailed as the saviours of both of their respective genres, Kendrick Lamar and Miguel have joined forces to cover the newest issue of VIBE magazine for their ‘Big List’ issue, being dubbed ‘the new classics.’ Both flying the flag for Los Angeles, the pair sit down for a joint interview as they reveal what they think a musical genius is, which artists push them further and regrets on past albums.

Already having albums under their belts that are quickly being regarded as classics, some could call the pair musical geniuses – but what do they think that entails?

“My favorite artists always took whatever they loved out of music and made it their own,” says Miguel. “It was their take on it. If you listen to my shit, you’re gonna hear Prince, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin or a little bit of the Beatles. That’s where I’m pulling from. That juxtaposition is what I hear in Kendrick, but it’s his own take. ”

Kendrick adds, “Somebody that don’t really have any boundaries, that’s not confined to the traditional structure of a song or traditional sounds.”

Speaking of pushing boundaries, that was something the Compton rapper did on his debut album, and although it paid off in the end, he wasn’t always sure that that would be the case.

“Making good kid, m.A.A.d city was a risk in itself. The idea of a concept record has been lost for a long time—will that translate to 16-year-old kids in high school rather than the super energetic joint on the radio? I definitely had that in the back of my mind when I was creating this album.”

With accolades being thrown at them left, right and centre, it wouldn’t be hard for them to gain an ego but the pair are still pushed further by some of their peers.

My partner J. Cole is always keeping it to the point where you have to show and prove,” admits Kendrick. “My partner Drake kills it.”

However, Miguel doesn’t get the same oppurtunity to go toe-to-toe with his R&B peers as he doesn’t feel the same kind of camaraderie runs with them

What’s fucked up about R&B is that that camaraderie doesn’t exist. I don’t really know why. In R&B, I have to pay attention to every male artist. Usher is a friend. Vocally there’s no one fucking with Usher right now in mainstream R&B. Obviously I’m paying attention to Frank or the Weeknd. Jesse Boykins (III), who is a friend as well, is another artist who’s doing something different, fresh and new.

With somewhat of a flawless album (I’m still yet to find a hole in good kid, m.A.A.d city), you would think that Kendrick could sit back and be quite happy with the end result – but there’s still one thing that he’d planned for the album that didn’t quite happen.

The idea was to have Nas on “Sing About Me.” I never got a chance to reach out to him. I was so wrapped up in getting the music done and samples cleared and mastered. I didn’t wanna rush the process; I actually wanted to sit in the studio and vibe with him. [It was] the only thing that I had a vision for that I sought out to accomplish, but in due time. God willing, for sure.”

And finally, is there anything particular that these artists want to accomplish, in what’s likely to be just the beginning of long and incredible careers?

Miguel says, Kendrick is poised to be the next staple in hip-hop and I certainly intend on becoming that for R&B, working my ass off and taking risks.”

This issue hits stands April 26th, but for the full interview now, head over to

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