Kendrick Lamar was profiled by the New York Times, which followed the Compton rapper while on tour with Kanye West for the Yeezus tour. During a lengthy interview, Kendrick explains what keeps him driven to stay at the top of his game:

“If my edge is dull, my sword is dull, and I don’t want to fight another guy whose sword is dull,” Lamar says. “If you’ve got two steel swords going back and forth hitting each other, what’s gonna happen? Both of them are going to get sharper…Everybody that’s in the industry has lost their edge. There’s really no aggression. You gotta say things particular, and everything is so soft.”

Eminem was also quoted in the pice, saying that Kendrick “raps to be the best rapper in the world” –

“There’s a certain hunger that you can sense about Kendrick,” Eminem says. “He raps to be the best rapper in the world. He competitive-raps. That’s one of the things that’s going to drive his career. He’s going to be around for a long time.”

“I completely respect what Kendrick does and the fact that he’s in the same camp, that he’s on Aftermath, only made sense to [have him on The Marshall Mathers LP 2],” Eminem said at the time. “He came to Detroit, we kicked it for a few minutes, you know, and I felt the vibe of what he’s like and everything, and you know, he’s a super cool and super humble dude. When we did that record, I think that was actually a week or two before he did the verse to ‘Control.'”