F.A.M.E.
Janet Jackson has officially joined the billion-dollar club, according to Variety.
The mag credits her incredibly successful career over many decades for the singer’s lofty financial status.
She reportedly earned $458 million thanks to concert tours, $304 million in acting gigs likeThe Nutty Professor and For Colored Girls, $260 million in album sales (“Rhythm Nation, anyone?) and more than $81 million from sponsorships.
May 23

Janet Jackson has officially joined the billion-dollar club, according to Variety.

The mag credits her incredibly successful career over many decades for the singer’s lofty financial status.

She reportedly earned $458 million thanks to concert tours, $304 million in acting gigs likeThe Nutty Professor and For Colored Girls, $260 million in album sales (“Rhythm Nation, anyone?) and more than $81 million from sponsorships.

Paul McCartney himself has penned a letter to Russian authorities supporting Pussy Riot. The letter comes a day after a member was not allowed to attend he own parole hearing, who afterward started a hunger strike. McCartney’s handwritten letter asked Russian officials to consider parole for members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova."My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world," McCartney wrote. He also says: "In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case."McCartney tried appealing to officials on a humanitarian level: “I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people – all people, with compassion and kindness.”Excerpts of the note appear on his website. In the past, the former Beatles member has openly supported members of Pussy Riot. He is on a long list of celebs that have backed the band, including Madonna who advocated for the group at a show in Moscow this past August.
May 23

Paul McCartney himself has penned a letter to Russian authorities supporting Pussy Riot. The letter comes a day after a member was not allowed to attend he own parole hearing, who afterward started a hunger strike. McCartney’s handwritten letter asked Russian officials to consider parole for members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

"My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world," McCartney wrote. He also says: "In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case."

McCartney tried appealing to officials on a humanitarian level: “I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people – all people, with compassion and kindness.”

Excerpts of the note appear on his websiteIn the past, the former Beatles member has openly supported members of Pussy Riot. He is on a long list of celebs that have backed the band, including Madonna who advocated for the group at a show in Moscow this past August.

Following yesterday’s grand unveiling comes a closer look at Microsoft‘s upcoming Xbox One – the highly-anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360. “Designed from the ground up to be the centerpiece of every living room,” the new console is dominated by a sleek black exterior of sharp lines, corresponding controllers, and a matching Kinect system – now featuring an expanded field of view, tweaked gesture-recognition, and voice-recognition technology that even allows you to boot up the system by simply saying “Xbox on.” Inside, the Xbox One boasts an 8-core x86 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray functionality, and HDMI pass-thru while the controller itself now features more than 40 improvements that include “Impulse Triggers” (pressure-sensitivity), streamlined thumbsticks, and contours to the buttons and D-pad. What will likely set the Xbox One apart from the next-gen pack, however, is its user experience. Sporting a new Windows OS, the Xbox One features an easy-to-use interface that includes Skype, cloud capabilities, and a Smartglass feature that allows users to turn mobile devices into a second screen for a more immersive interaction. Finally, Xbox Live will introduce “Smart Match”, a revolutionary matchmaking system that will pair players based on advanced algorithms using language, skill, and reputation. Head on over to Microsoft’s comprehensive Xbox One hub for an in-depth look at the next-generation console, as well as the latest news in the world of Xbox, and stay tuned for concrete details regarding price point and release.
May 23

Following yesterday’s grand unveiling comes a closer look at Microsoft‘s upcoming Xbox One – the highly-anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360. “Designed from the ground up to be the centerpiece of every living room,” the new console is dominated by a sleek black exterior of sharp lines, corresponding controllers, and a matching Kinect system – now featuring an expanded field of view, tweaked gesture-recognition, and voice-recognition technology that even allows you to boot up the system by simply saying “Xbox on.” Inside, the Xbox One boasts an 8-core x86 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray functionality, and HDMI pass-thru while the controller itself now features more than 40 improvements that include “Impulse Triggers” (pressure-sensitivity), streamlined thumbsticks, and contours to the buttons and D-pad. What will likely set the Xbox One apart from the next-gen pack, however, is its user experience. Sporting a new Windows OS, the Xbox One features an easy-to-use interface that includes Skype, cloud capabilities, and a Smartglass feature that allows users to turn mobile devices into a second screen for a more immersive interaction. Finally, Xbox Live will introduce “Smart Match”, a revolutionary matchmaking system that will pair players based on advanced algorithms using language, skill, and reputation. Head on over to Microsoft’s comprehensive Xbox One hub for an in-depth look at the next-generation console, as well as the latest news in the world of Xbox, and stay tuned for concrete details regarding price point and release.

Hair is a prized commodity when you’re constantly in the public eye, but some celebrities aren’t as follicle-ly blessed as the Zac Efrons and Chris Hemsworths of the world. A handful of famous dudes said goodbye to their ‘dos early on and have now embraced their shiny domes. As you’ll see, for some of them it was the right call (even if, ultimately, they didn’t have a choice in the matter).
 
May 23

Hair is a prized commodity when you’re constantly in the public eye, but some celebrities aren’t as follicle-ly blessed as the Zac Efrons and Chris Hemsworths of the world. A handful of famous dudes said goodbye to their ‘dos early on and have now embraced their shiny domes. As you’ll see, for some of them it was the right call (even if, ultimately, they didn’t have a choice in the matter).

 

August is really turning out to be quite a big month for Directioners. One Direction have revealed that they’re detailing their rise to fame in a 240-page book hitting stores this summer.
"One Direction: Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story," will hit retailers on August 27, just days before the opening of their 3-D flick "This Is Us."Released by HarperCollins, it is the “only official book from 1D charting their journey.” The cover (which the guys shared Tuesday on Twitter) keeps it simple, with the five guys rocking casual couture in front of an all-white background.
May 22

August is really turning out to be quite a big month for Directioners. One Direction have revealed that they’re detailing their rise to fame in a 240-page book hitting stores this summer.

"One Direction: Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story," will hit retailers on August 27, just days before the opening of their 3-D flick "This Is Us."Released by HarperCollins, it is the “only official book from 1D charting their journey.” The cover (which the guys shared Tuesday on Twitter) keeps it simple, with the five guys rocking casual couture in front of an all-white background.

t’s safe to say parents are NOT a fan of this Crazy Kid!
The Parent Television Council is putting Ke$ha on blast after hearing footage was set to air on her MTV reality show of the controversial starlet drinking her own urine.
You mean, parents don’t want swigging on urine to become a new teen trend??! HOW ODD.
In a letter to supporters, the PTC warned the masses to opt out of watching MTV's Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life as they deemed it “disgusting, vile content.”
The council also pressured cable providers to allow customer to choose exactly which channels they get.
..meaning NOT MTV.
May 22

t’s safe to say parents are NOT a fan of this Crazy Kid!

The Parent Television Council is putting Ke$ha on blast after hearing footage was set to air on her MTV reality show of the controversial starlet drinking her own urine.

You mean, parents don’t want swigging on urine to become a new teen trend??! HOW ODD.

In a letter to supporters, the PTC warned the masses to opt out of watching MTV's Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life as they deemed it “disgusting, vile content.”

The council also pressured cable providers to allow customer to choose exactly which channels they get.

..meaning NOT MTV.

Check out the latest Man of Steel trailer from Warner Bros. which sees General Zod (Michael Shannon) takes center stage, the Kryptonian general delivers a dire message to Superman (Henry Cavill) and the rest of Earth’s residents.Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=80034#gpIjUO4AJC2r5JPv.99 

//
May 22

Check out the latest Man of Steel trailer from Warner Bros. which sees General Zod (Michael Shannon) takes center stage, the Kryptonian general delivers a dire message to Superman (Henry Cavill) and the rest of Earth’s residents.
Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=80034#gpIjUO4AJC2r5JPv.99 

James Franco doesn’t have a lot of down time. Between writing, directing, producing and starring in various films (and the occasional daytime soap-opera), adding to his collection of post-graduate degrees, and, of course, maintaining his James Dean-inspired style, we’re not sure how Franco finds time to sleep, eat or brush his teeth.  But an iconic career has always been the plan for the colorful Palo Alto, CA native. Initially discouraged by his parents from attending art school, Franco tried to tread a more conventional path and enrolled at UCLA to get his BA in English. This, however, did not last long.Franco left college for Robert Carnegie’s Playhouse West and was quickly cast as Daniel Desario on the cult 1999 TV Show,Freaks and Geeks (you know, that show created by Paul Weiss, directed by Judd Apatow and featuring a young Seth Rogan and Jason Segal). From there, Franco was cast as James Dean in the TV biopic—cementing the comparison between the two—then 2002’s Spiderman, which revived the superhero movie genre. The rest of Franco’s story—his role as Scott Smith in Gus Van Sant’s Milk, improvised comedy parts such as Pineapple Express, Oscar hosting gig, and current documentary Francophrenia—so we’ll not bore you with the details. We shall, however, revisit some of our favorite moments in Franco’s rise in an attempt to solve the modern mystery—what motivates Franco and his myriad projects:
May 22

James Franco doesn’t have a lot of down time. Between writing, directing, producing and starring in various films (and the occasional daytime soap-opera), adding to his collection of post-graduate degrees, and, of course, maintaining his James Dean-inspired style, we’re not sure how Franco finds time to sleep, eat or brush his teeth.  But an iconic career has always been the plan for the colorful Palo Alto, CA native. Initially discouraged by his parents from attending art school, Franco tried to tread a more conventional path and enrolled at UCLA to get his BA in English. This, however, did not last long.

Franco left college for Robert Carnegie’s Playhouse West and was quickly cast as Daniel Desario on the cult 1999 TV Show,Freaks and Geeks (you know, that show created by Paul Weiss, directed by Judd Apatow and featuring a young Seth Rogan and Jason Segal). From there, Franco was cast as James Dean in the TV biopic—cementing the comparison between the two—then 2002’s Spiderman, which revived the superhero movie genre. The rest of Franco’s story—his role as Scott Smith in Gus Van Sant’s Milk, improvised comedy parts such as Pineapple Express, Oscar hosting gig, and current documentary Francophrenia—so we’ll not bore you with the details. We shall, however, revisit some of our favorite moments in Franco’s rise in an attempt to solve the modern mystery—what motivates Franco and his myriad projects:

Every generation thinks they invented sex. But Prince basically did invent sex, certainly as far as the 80s musical landscape was concerned. No nods, no winks, no metaphors. He became a megastar while singing about all matter of deviancy and dressed accordingly, turning the dirty-sexy look into catwalk chic. He’d get bored of himself before anybody else had the chance to. Back then, when he released classic albums every two weeks, he never stopped pioneering, setting fashion trends every time he appeared, then setting fire to them and creating new ones the next time he stepped out the door. Picking up the gauntlet from Bowie, he became pop’s greatest shapeshifter. Let’s drink him in.
May 22

Every generation thinks they invented sex. But Prince basically did invent sex, certainly as far as the 80s musical landscape was concerned. No nods, no winks, no metaphors. He became a megastar while singing about all matter of deviancy and dressed accordingly, turning the dirty-sexy look into catwalk chic. He’d get bored of himself before anybody else had the chance to. Back then, when he released classic albums every two weeks, he never stopped pioneering, setting fashion trends every time he appeared, then setting fire to them and creating new ones the next time he stepped out the door. Picking up the gauntlet from Bowie, he became pop’s greatest shapeshifter. Let’s drink him in.

CANNES, France —The film festival here is not all about showcasing new works.
Two classics are taking on different looks at the 66th annual gathering: a fully restored version of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s 1963 love story Cleopatra as well as a 3-D version of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 epic The Last Emperor.
Cleopatra represents a two-year quest by 20th Century Fox to bring Taylor’s classic portrayal of the Egyptian queen back to her full 70 mm majesty in time for its 50th anniversary (the film will be released on Blu-Ray for the first time on May 28).
Even Taylor’s glamorous image had faded in time.
"She wasn’t in her full glory. She was a slightly dimmer version of the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor we all idolize," said Schawn Belston, director of film preservation at Fox, who oversaw the project. "There are problems that happen with the ravages of time — color fading, scratches. It was an old movie."
May 22

CANNES, France —The film festival here is not all about showcasing new works.

Two classics are taking on different looks at the 66th annual gathering: a fully restored version of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s 1963 love story Cleopatra as well as a 3-D version of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 epic The Last Emperor.

Cleopatra represents a two-year quest by 20th Century Fox to bring Taylor’s classic portrayal of the Egyptian queen back to her full 70 mm majesty in time for its 50th anniversary (the film will be released on Blu-Ray for the first time on May 28).

Even Taylor’s glamorous image had faded in time.

"She wasn’t in her full glory. She was a slightly dimmer version of the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor we all idolize," said Schawn Belston, director of film preservation at Fox, who oversaw the project. "There are problems that happen with the ravages of time — color fading, scratches. It was an old movie."

Agent Coulson Lives! Days after ABC Network picked up The Avengers director Joss Whedon’s return to the small screen, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. received a marketing push during the season finale of Once Upon a Time; despite not having a premiere date. Following a Vine sneak peek and viral site launch, a 30-second teaser for the Marvel TV series has debuted! Check itRead more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MarvelFreshman/news/?a=79444#WiKCsZ8Mz6jHFQtT.99 
May 13

Agent Coulson Lives! Days after ABC Network picked up The Avengers director Joss Whedon’s return to the small screen, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. received a marketing push during the season finale of Once Upon a Time; despite not having a premiere date. Following a Vine sneak peek and viral site launch, a 30-second teaser for the Marvel TV series has debuted! Check it
Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MarvelFreshman/news/?a=79444#WiKCsZ8Mz6jHFQtT.99 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy-winning musician Chris Brown'sneighbors are unhappy with what some are calling frightening art he’s chosen to have painted along the curb of his Hollywood Hills home.
A neighborhood group said the grimacing, sharp-toothed, red-eyed goblins painted along a retaining wall have been scaring children, and is an eyesore to boot, according to the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/19cjOBY).
"There are lots of babies, lots of children, and they’re literally frightened. It’s like devils on the wall — big scary eyes and big scary teeth, and just the whole vibe is not what we’re used to," Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association, told the newspaper.
L.A. city code officials responded to complaints about the monster art and cited the “Run It!” singer $376 for unpermitted and excessive signage.
Under city ordinances, it’s illegal to create murals on most private properties. Though that didn’t stop Madonna from painting her Hollywood Hills home in red and yellow stripes in the 1990s.
Brown has been ordered to remove the goblin paintings within 30 days, but his attorney Mark Geragos said the musician is not backing down.
"They are trying to suspend the First Amendment," Geragos said.
Geragos alleges neighbors are harassing Brown and have also made parking complaints about him and called animal control.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Negri said all she wants is for Brown to “tone it down and be a better neighbor.”
Brown’s tumultuous relationship with singer Rihanna and foul-mouthed Twitter presence have given him a bad boy reputation.
Brown won a Grammy in 2011 for Best R&B Album with “F.A.M.E.” and was arrested shortly after the 2009 awards ceremony for assaulting Rihanna.
"I know a $300 fine is probably pocket change. But hopefully and maybe, he’ll just see the light and decide to be a good neighbor," Negri told the Times. "We’re happy to have him — if he just tones it down."
May 13

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy-winning musician Chris Brown'sneighbors are unhappy with what some are calling frightening art he’s chosen to have painted along the curb of his Hollywood Hills home.

A neighborhood group said the grimacing, sharp-toothed, red-eyed goblins painted along a retaining wall have been scaring children, and is an eyesore to boot, according to the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/19cjOBY).

"There are lots of babies, lots of children, and they’re literally frightened. It’s like devils on the wall — big scary eyes and big scary teeth, and just the whole vibe is not what we’re used to," Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association, told the newspaper.

L.A. city code officials responded to complaints about the monster art and cited the “Run It!” singer $376 for unpermitted and excessive signage.

Under city ordinances, it’s illegal to create murals on most private properties. Though that didn’t stop Madonna from painting her Hollywood Hills home in red and yellow stripes in the 1990s.

Brown has been ordered to remove the goblin paintings within 30 days, but his attorney Mark Geragos said the musician is not backing down.

"They are trying to suspend the First Amendment," Geragos said.

Geragos alleges neighbors are harassing Brown and have also made parking complaints about him and called animal control.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Negri said all she wants is for Brown to “tone it down and be a better neighbor.”

Brown’s tumultuous relationship with singer Rihanna and foul-mouthed Twitter presence have given him a bad boy reputation.

Brown won a Grammy in 2011 for Best R&B Album with “F.A.M.E.” and was arrested shortly after the 2009 awards ceremony for assaulting Rihanna.

"I know a $300 fine is probably pocket change. But hopefully and maybe, he’ll just see the light and decide to be a good neighbor," Negri told the Times. "We’re happy to have him — if he just tones it down."

Warren Buffett is bullish … on women

In an exclusive essay the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) chairman and CEO explains why women are key to America’s prosperity.
By Warren Buffett @FortuneMagazine
Fortune) - In the flood of words written recently about women and work, one related and hugely significant point seems to me to have been neglected. It has to do with America’s future, about which - here’s a familiar opinion from me - I’m an unqualified optimist. Now entertain another opinion of mine: Women are a major reason we will do so well.
Start with the fact that our country’s progress since 1776 has been mind-blowing, like nothing the world has ever seen. Our secret sauce has been a political and economic system that unleashes human potential to an extraordinary degree. As a result Americans today enjoy an abundance of goods and services that no one could have dreamed of just a few centuries ago.But that’s not the half of it - or, rather, it’s just about the half of it. America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country’s talent. For most of our history, women - whatever their abilities - have been relegated to the sidelines. Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem.
May 13

Warren Buffett is bullish … on women

In an exclusive essay the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) chairman and CEO explains why women are key to America’s prosperity.

By Warren Buffett @FortuneMagazine

Fortune) - In the flood of words written recently about women and work, one related and hugely significant point seems to me to have been neglected. It has to do with America’s future, about which - here’s a familiar opinion from me - I’m an unqualified optimist. Now entertain another opinion of mine: Women are a major reason we will do so well.

Start with the fact that our country’s progress since 1776 has been mind-blowing, like nothing the world has ever seen. Our secret sauce has been a political and economic system that unleashes human potential to an extraordinary degree. As a result Americans today enjoy an abundance of goods and services that no one could have dreamed of just a few centuries ago.
But that’s not the half of it - or, rather, it’s just about the half of it. America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country’s talent. For most of our history, women - whatever their abilities - have been relegated to the sidelines. Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem.

Festival season kicked off last weekend in Indio, Calif. during Coachella week one, and now weekend two, April 19-21, started today at 11 a.m. PST. What other festivals are considered must-see for the American music enthusiast?
The big four of America’s festival scene isCoachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza andAustin City Limits, but new festivals are popping up quickly and seem to be growing in popularity every year, each with its own personality and unique draw.
According to Chris Talbott of the Associated Press, with the 2013 festival scene just starting many of the biggest promoters are already brainstorming innovative ways to reach a new and expanded audience next summer.
"I do think that there’s really plenty of opportunities for people to create some great festival experiences," said Ashley Capps, a co-founder of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. “In fact, I think in many ways the audience in America is just now starting to fully embrace festival culture.”
Summer festivals have been a staple for the music scene for decades, starting with the Newport Folk Festival in the 1950s. Woodstock in 1969 was a pivotal moment in music history, it was designed as a profit-making venture, but famously became a “free concert” for 200,000 people.
Today, festival promoters appear to be making a much larger profit, with Coachella andLollapalooza selling out in record time this year. People are even opting for VIP passes to make their experience more special; or just to scoop up whatever tickets are still on sale.
May 13

Festival season kicked off last weekend in Indio, Calif. during Coachella week one, and now weekend two, April 19-21, started today at 11 a.m. PST. What other festivals are considered must-see for the American music enthusiast?

The big four of America’s festival scene isCoachellaBonnarooLollapalooza andAustin City Limits, but new festivals are popping up quickly and seem to be growing in popularity every year, each with its own personality and unique draw.

According to Chris Talbott of the Associated Press, with the 2013 festival scene just starting many of the biggest promoters are already brainstorming innovative ways to reach a new and expanded audience next summer.

"I do think that there’s really plenty of opportunities for people to create some great festival experiences," said Ashley Capps, a co-founder of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. “In fact, I think in many ways the audience in America is just now starting to fully embrace festival culture.”

Summer festivals have been a staple for the music scene for decades, starting with the Newport Folk Festival in the 1950s. Woodstock in 1969 was a pivotal moment in music history, it was designed as a profit-making venture, but famously became a “free concert” for 200,000 people.

Today, festival promoters appear to be making a much larger profit, with Coachella andLollapalooza selling out in record time this year. People are even opting for VIP passes to make their experience more special; or just to scoop up whatever tickets are still on sale.

May 9

Few hip-hop stars have arrived as fully formed as 25-year-old Kendrick Lamar. Hailing from the MC hotbed of Compton, Lamar has been cranking out increasingly adventurous mixtapes since he was a teen, at first under the name K.Dot (a moniker he later abandoned). But with the release last fall of his proper major-label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city(Interscope/ Aftermath/Top Dawg Entertainment), Lamar took his show widescreen. He subtitled the album A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar, and there is something palpably cinematic about it. It’s a deftly nuanced work filled with richly painted vignettes, complicated characters, and shifting perspectives that begins with a 17-year-old Lamar trying to find his way as he is being pulled in multiple directions by his friends, parents, hip-hop fantasies, girls, and the culture of Compton, and ends with him figuratively taking the baton from Dr. Dre while wondering if what he has achieved is a victory or simply part of a cycle. (Another Compton legend, MC Eiht, appears on the track “m.A.A.d. city.”)

On the back of the hit singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice,” good kid, m.A.A.d. city reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Rap and R&B/ Hip-Hop charts. This past March, Lamar was even anointed “Hottest MC in the Game” by a panel of experts empowered by an authority no less than MTV (formerly an acronym for “Music Television”).

Nevertheless, to reduce good kid, m.A.A.d. city to a pop phenomenon is to, in part, ignore the thrust of its instant-classicness: Like some of the best records in the history of pop, it’s an album that not only tells a compelling story, but a near-definitive one of a specific time and place, offering a window on the varying complexities of turn-of-the-century Compton, where the gangs, drugs, and guns are all still plentiful, but the kids now also have a generation of grade-A hip-hop to fall back on in struggling to navigate it. In fact, songs on good kid, m.A.A.d city like “The Art of Peer Pressure” deal directly with the glorification—and the growing urban mythology—of the rags-to-riches gangsta-rapper narrative that surrounded Lamar as a kid. But good kid, m.A.A.d city is also an intensely personal album that draws its power from Lamar’s frequently ambivalent—and conflicted—relationship with the people and world that he is chronicling. In one of several voicemail interludes that punctuate good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar’s mother offers him some advice: “Tell your story to these black and brown kids,” she urges. “Let them know you was just like them, but you still rose from that dark place of violence, becoming a positive person.” Near the end of the capper, “Compton,” the true complexity of that story is brought into full relief as Lamar slyly raps, “Harsh realities we in made our music translate / To the coke dealers, the hood rich, and the broke niggas that play … Roll that kush, crack that case, 10 bottles of rosé / This was brought to you by Dre … In the city of Compton / Ain’t no city quite like mine.”

Singer, songwriter, and fellow raconteur Erykah Badu recently caught up with Lamar by phone at the airport in Denver. Badu was at home in Dallas, Texas, and Lamar, who has seemingly been in constant motion while touring the world over the past year, was enjoying a rare unscheduled breather, having just missed his flight. 


ERYKAH BADU: Can you describe how it feels to be in this cyclone of good fortune that you’re experiencing right now? How are you handling all of it? 

KENDRICK LAMAR: I always thought money was something just to make me happy. But I’ve learned that I feel better being able to help my folks, ‘cause we never had nothing. So just to see them excited about my career is more of a blessing than me actually having it for myself. My folks ain’t graduated from high school or nothing like that, so we always had to struggle in the family—and I come from a big family. But as far as me handling this, it’s a weird feeling because it’s like a blur right now. I think my worst problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that’s going on. I feel like I’m in my own bubble. People tell me all the time, “You’re crazy, going there by yourself,” because it wouldn’t have soaked in yet that I’m supposed to be quote “Kendrick Lamar”—whoever this guy’s supposed to be. I still feel like me. So it’s really about me trying to adapt—that’s like the toughest thing for me right now. I feel like I’m in my own world. 

BADU: Is it a good world?

LAMAR: It’s got its pros and cons. I still know who I am and I haven’t let everything consume me. But on the other end, I have to know when I’m me—when I go out in public, to the person that sees me on TV and has a conception of who I am. That’s the only catch. That’s the flip side to it. But I think whatever pressure I feel all comes from me, from within. I always was that person who was hard on myself and challenged myself no matter what I was doing, whether it was passing third grade or playing basketball. I think it was a whole lot of pressure building up for this first album. But I looked at that kind of thing as excitement, you know? Since day one, since the first time I touched the pen, I wanted to be the best at what I do. So I’m just taking it one day at a time.