It's that time of year, again, where Forbes highlights young people who are the best of the best in their respective industries (and makes everyone else feel lame) with its "30 Under 30" issue. The cover and the 2018 list of all 600 young leaders were revealed today, and on the cover is King Kunta himself, Kendrick Lamar.
Back in October, Kendrick sat down with Forbes senior editor Zach O'Malley Greenburg for an interview in front of an audience at the Under 30 Summit. For the unveiling of the cover, Forbes published the transcript of that interview online and there are some gems in their about Kendrick's youth, how he balances business and creativity, and what he has learned from his mentors JAY-Z, Dr. Dre, and Diddy.
Kendrick said that on a creative level and with their music, all three have operated on a "high level," but it's the other part of the game that he found most inspiring. "And, bigger than that, on a entrepreneurship level, that's the game they thought we would never break through, as far as hip-hop, and these are the three individuals that showed us that."
Kendrick pointed to JAY-Z's many business ventures and said that he could hear and feel how Hov felt about his accomplishments through the music. "I listen to the raps and I hear his tones, and the mannerisms on how he talked about that. And how he felt accomplishing that, because that's something we wasn't seeing success from," Kendrick said.
"They said we couldn't start businesses outside of hip-hop. When you look at technology, you look at Dre, you look at what Puff is doing. These are some of the things, and some of the aspirations, that has been branded in my generation."
"So you go through these stages of trying to figure that out. That hindered me...But the day I changed my name [from K-Dot] to my actual real name, Kendrick Lamar, and found my true story, that's when I started getting the looks, and the ears that I wanted."
Other notable names in the Music section of the "30 Under 30 "list for 2018 are Cardi B, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Migos, Travis Scott, SZA, Young MA, and Playboi Carti. Head over to Forbes to peep the full line-up and to read the rest of Kendrick's great interview.