Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, California, where his parents Paula Oliver and Kenny Duckworth relocated after struggling in Chicago, Illinois. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar had sweet words to share about how his parents affected his life. In DAMN., his new album, Lamar asserts that without his father, he might not have even made it this far.
"When you see kids doing things that the world calls harmful or a threat, it's because they don't know how to deal with their emotions," Lamar said when asked about how having a father — in a community where two-parent households were rare — had changed his life. "When you have a father in your life, you do something, he'll look at you and say, 'What the fuck is you doing?' Putting you in your place. Making you feel this small. That was a privilege for me."
He added that his parents have a wicked sense of humor, something the rapper seems to have inherited. Their humor helped him survive a traumatic childhood that Lamar often describes in lurid details in his music. "My pops – he's funny as fuck," he said. "My mom's a crazy-as-fuck, funny, loving person. These things countered the negative shit, helped me to be able to understand tragedy, but not break from it."
As for his sense of humor, the 30-year-old said that just about everything makes him laugh. In the interview, he pointed to the man filming him, claiming that something beneath the videographer's hat was making him giggle.
"Shit, everything makes me laugh. Everything," he said. Then, pointing to the person of interest: "He got something under his hat that makes me bust up laughing every time he takes it off. I didn't even know God invented hairlines like that."
He added, "I always say that the best entertainers have to have the most wickedest sense of humor, to be able to take pain and change it into laughter."
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