Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar has largely remained out of the public eye throughout his career. The “N95” emcee has his reasons for staying out of the spotlight and off of social media, and it may surprise even his biggest fans why he stays so reclusive.
Kendrick Lamar maintains a largely private life
Kendrick Lamar burst onto the scene in 2012 with his breakout album good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Over the next decade, he solidified his spot as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. His 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly was a favorite of President Barack Obama’s, and his 2017 album Damn earned additional acclaim.
Since he first emerged as a public figure, however, Lamar has moved further and further away from the limelight, giving few interviews and keeping an air of mystery around his image.
He revealed why he’s so private
Lamar opened up about his reclusive ways in an August 2022 interview with Citizen magazine.
“Distinguishing between Kendrick and Kendrick Lamar. I’m still learning the balance of that. Because I’m so invested in who I am outside of being famous, sometimes that’s all I know,” he said. “I’ve always been a person that really didn’t dive too headfirst into wanting and needing attention. I mean, we all love attention, but for me, I don’t necessarily adore it. I use it when I want to communicate something.”
“The person that people see now is the person that I’ve always been. For me, the privacy thing has never been an issue that I had to carry out with full intention. It’s just who I am,” he continued. “If I feel I have to remove myself, I just remove myself. I won’t complain about it. I won’t cause a big blow-up or a big stir and let the world know that the walls are closing in…. For me, it’s all about being aware of how I’m feeling. If it is too much, let me remove myself for a couple of years.”
He goes ‘months without a phone’
Lamar spoke about his daily life in an open letter on his website, published in the lead-up to the release of his latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
“I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence,” he wrote.
“I go months without a phone,” he added. “Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family.”
“While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.”
He’s had a big year in 2022
2022 has been an important year in Lamar’s career. In February, he took the stage at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show alongside hip-hop legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Eminem. And in May, he released his highly-anticipated album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, his first album in five years.