After dropping elaborate clips for DAMN. cuts "HUMBLE.," "DNA.," "ELEMENT." and "LOYALTY.," it's no surprise that Kendrick Lamar is leading this year's pack of MTV VMA nominations. Ahead of the awards show and in the midst of "THE DAMN. TOUR," the rapper is gracing the cover of Rolling Stone — and in the new interview, he's addressed one of his former video projects, among other things.
Lamar famously contributed a guest verse and starred in the video version of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" back in 2015 — a song widely believed to be about the pop star's feud with Katy Perry. Speaking to Rolling Stone, though, he maintains his innocence in the supposedly now-quashed fight between the singers.
When asked if he was aware of the IRL "Bad Blood" going into his collaboration with Swift, Lamar said, "No, I wasn't aware of that, bro… No! On the record, no. Which makes it even more funny now, for sure."
Laughing about the ordeal, he added, "That's far beyond my concern. I have to stay away from that, for sure. That's some real beef."
The feud was hardly the only topic covered in the interview, however, as Lamar took some time out to address President Donald Trump.
"I mean, it's like beating a dead horse. We already know what it is. Are we gonna keep talking about it or are we gonna take action?" Lamar asked. "You just get to a point where you're tired of talking about it. It weighs you down and it drains your energy when you're speaking about something or someone that's completely ridiculous. So, on and off the album, I took it upon myself to take action in my own community. On the record, I made an action to not speak about what's going on in the world or the places they put us in. Speak on self; reflection of self first. That's where the initial change will start from."
Lamar also spoke on DAMN. track "XXX," which featured a rather shocking guest spot from U2. Speaking of how the unlikely collaboration came to be, Lamar said, "We had a [different] record we were supposed to be doing together. [Bono] sent it over, I laid some ideas to it, and we didn't know where it was going. I just happened to have an album coming out, so I just asked him, like, 'Yo, would you do me this honour of letting me use this record, use this idea that I want to put together because I'm hearing a certain type of 808, a certain drum to it.' And he was open to it."
Read Rolling Stone's full interview with Lamar here.
Pick up Kendrick's DAMN. LP and Katy Perry's Witness via Umusic. And before Taylor Swift's new album drops, dive into her back catalogue here.