King Kendrick and the Black Mamba

Watching this video, listening to kendrick Lamar and Kobe talk about their greatness, one fact about these two becomes very clear: They don’t care about anything more than themselves.

They just work.

They just grow and get better and better, i.e. they care about themselves, more than anything. These two are only concerned with improving their craft and being the best. The best version of themselves.

that came out weird. But does that make sense?

Okay watch the video. I chose to start it at 3:05. when I think it really gets good.

At 3:25, Kobe begins, “I set out immediately to be the best, it was a decision.”  his full quote is actually very profound, he pretty much tells the viewers that you must make the decision to be the best, to yourself. He later calls it a deal (which makes him seem demonic, like a deal with the devil) that he has made with himself, his mind, that he will be the best.


The interviewer definitely did his homework and wrote some thought-provoking questions, the first good one that I thought he wrote was “Is the desire to be great something that you walk into the game with or something that you start to earn as you see your skill develop? You start felling i got this, I got something that I can do. The moment that you picked up the rock, stepped foot in the studio, You say: I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna be the best?” This a great question, because it really aims to find the thought process of Kobe and Kendrick, to how they achieved their greatness.


Watch this clip from the interview. In this short tidbit, Kobe replies first. After he says that he made the decision to be great to himself a long time ago, he then silences the doubts and troubling thoughts. He calls into question that “At what point, do you say, okay. I have the skills to be good enough to be one of the best ever? How do you even know that? It has to be a quest from day one. This is a choice that your going to make. You know the sacrifices that come along with that. But once you make that deal with yourself, that’s it. theres no going back.”


great question, great answer. Theres something so pure about his response and his approach. I really don’t know how else it can be said. Kobe is a winner. All he wants to do is win. He convinced himself a long time ago that he was going to be the best. Kendrick has a decent answer to the same question, but he really touched me when he answered the next one. “Touched me” why did i just say that.


The next question began with, “a lot of guys are calling themselves great, you’re at a point where you can call yourself the best rapper alive and you have. and its fact. right, like you can mean it.” then the interview pauses for a sec. I feel like this question was more off the cuff and came about when he asked the first question. I kinda felt like i related to the the interviewer for a moment. then the interviewer continues “What do we misconstrued about greatness? Whats the missing puzzle piece about greatness, like of course there’s hard work , of course you have to have the mindset, whats the missing puzzle piece of greatness?” Pretty disconnected thoughts and a weird phrasing to this question but he got there. the question was asked, sort of.


They both answered the question very well but in different ways, which is why it interesting hearing each of their perspectives. A professional athlete and a professional musician both idols in the own worlds, different but so similar.

Kobe gives a good response with “I think people see greatness like, its kinda an easy road. A one path thing, you work then all the sudden it happens. It don’t work that way.” Then he pretty much going into how, failure give you strength, how the darkness of failure lights the fire of success. To keep overcoming the darkness of failure is how greatness is achieved. If there were no obstacles in the path of greatness, everyone would get there. but there is obstacles, the darkness will try and slow you down and stop you. If you want greatness, you must be strong enough to disregard the darkness and JUSTWORK.


Kendrick answer was actually pretty profound. He begins with “it’s the curiosity, the fear, the anxiety. The curiosity of knowing ‘damn i can possibly overcome this’ you know. And when you do, and another one approaches, you are like ‘i wanna challenge that one too’ ” It really easy to bag on musicians and rappers especially for not being very literate, but kendrick is the most literate rapper out there. this statement was short and sweet, because kendrick is a poet. He’s an artist with words. He says ‘damn i can possibly over come this’, which is a different softspoken way of saying ‘i can do it’. Someone thats feeling the curiosity, the fear, the anxiety, tell them ‘you can get over this’, because we just have to tell ourselves that a lot, and we may forget. So someone telling you this can really help. If you tell those you know that they can get through this. it sounds like the superficial thing to say, but it’s what you should say because we all need someone to remind us every once and a while. JUSTWORK

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