GQ Magazine got Kendrick Lamar to open up in a recent interview about where he feels he and his lyrical abilities currently stand when it comes to being compared to veterans of the game. He admitted that when he first began rapping, he was very nervous because he felt that he had to represent for Compton like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac did in the past, but now after he's been in the game and honed in on his craft, the nerves he once felt have ceased to effect him. When asked if he he'd be nervous getting in the booth with Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, or Rakim, Kendrick feels confident in his abilities to go toe-to-toe with them.
"I'm on their toes, for sure. I remember when I was a young buck listening to them, I was thirteen or fourteen going back to the albums and how crazy they were. They just have a little more experience than me. I wouldn't get in the studio with them and be nervous, I'll put it to you that way. I wouldn't be nervous.
"From the moment I started writing raps, I was always aware of the pressure. I always wanted to live up to how huge Snoop got, how huge Dre got, how huge Pac got. I was always aware. But by the time I got [the pressure], it was a whole new story. When you get that attention, you really have to execute. That pressure turned into a little bit more excitement, a little more dedication in the studio.
"He told me all the mistakes I shouldn't make in this business, being a new artist. I'm in a position where a lot of dollars will be thrown my way, and it's up to me to maintain. One of the first things he told me was that anybody 'can get a mansion.' He said, 'You can get it. It's nothing to get. You can get it tomorrow. The best thing to do is maintain it—that's the hardest thing. Keeping it.'"