Kendrick Lamar is often referred to as a “conscious rapper” due to his frequent discussions about socioeconomic issues and inequality, in contrast to other artists who may be termed as “trap rappers,” “Soundcloud rappers,” or “gangsta rappers.” 50 Cent is often associated with the latter category, but many in the hip-hop community view these labels as clichéd and artificial.
In a conversation with Tems for Interview Magazine, Lamar expressed his admiration for how 50 Cent has redefined the term “conscious rapper” and applied it to himself and other artists. Lamar shared, “I’ve always studied 50 Cent’s music and watched his interviews. Someone once asked if he was a conscious artist. He replied, ‘Yeah, I’m a conscious artist because I have a conscience.’ That really struck me. It gave me a new perspective. 50 Cent often shares insights that provide me with perspective, but this one particularly made me realize that many artists understand and can express duality. That’s the real talent, because that’s what life is about in its entirety.”
In the same conversation, Tems revealed that she drew significant inspiration from Celine Dion and Destiny’s Child. She remembered buying a pirated CD with 30 Destiny’s Child songs and later memorizing all of them.