Kendrick lives a life that befits the king of hip-hop, if you think what truly befits the king of hip-hop is to basically live in the studio looking for the perfect beat and the ultimate rhyme. “I can sometimes cut the whole world off to write a verse that is perfect to me,” he says. “I could be in the studio all day and turn the phone off and completely zone out, because I feel like this was what I was chosen to do. And I can’t let anyone get in between that.”
And while Reebok sneakers are having a moment right now, there’s no arguing that the Nike Cortez has been a bigger staple of hip-hop style, particularly in Lamar’s hometown Los Angeles. And now it looks like K.Dot has decided to leave Reebok in favor of Nike, taking to social media to post a photo of himself in a pair of Nike Cortez kicks with the caption “Cortez. Since day 1. #teamnike.”
Lamar’s Damn. climbs 2-1 on the latest Billboard 200, clocking a fourth nonconsecutive week at No. 1, and its first since the May 20-dated tally. The set earned just under 47,000 equivalent album units (down less than 1 percent) in the week ending Aug. 10, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 11,000 were in traditional album sales. The bulk of Damn.’s figure comes from SEA units — 31,000. (The album is the week’s most-streamed title on the Billboard 200, with 46.2 million on-demand audio streams generated by its songs.)
Well, that’s the challenge that keeps me going. Can I outdo myself again? Can I make a better rhyme than I made last time? That’s the whole chase. If that wasn’t there, then I’d have stopped after good kid, after I had my first platinum album. But, you know, you see Jay-Z [chuckles]. He’s a billionaire. You see Dr. Dre. Jay is still on his pen game, because it’s always a chase to see if you’re not only still true to the culture, but still can generate a creative process that’s organic for you, that can challenge yourself.
Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 2017’s biggest week for an album: 603,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending April 20, according to Nielsen Music. That’s the most units earned by an album in a single week in nearly a year, since Drake’s Views launched with 1.04 million units in the week ending May 5, 2016.