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LeBron James Explains Why He Loves Kendrick Lamar So Much

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: LeBron James speaks onstage during the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony 2016 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

LeBron James looks to be on track to reach his seventh straight NBA Finals, just a short time after being one of the first people on the planet to hear Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. After jamming to “ELEMENT.,” “FEEL.,” and “LUST.” on his Instagram, James and the Cavaliers have been dispatching the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs. Following last night’s 25-point comeback, a reporter prompted James to talk about why he enjoys DAMN. so much. He didn’t respond with the best answer—”Because ‘DNA.,’ dummy,”—but he did talk about a well-known maxim for African-Americans and why Lamar’s music inspires him.

It hit home for me, at times, because I was a kid who grew up in the inner city, and the notion of you either play basketball or sell drugs—that’s it. There’s no out. You become a statistic. As an African-American kid growing up in the inner-city, there’s no—they don’t believe you can come out and become something. That’s why I was able to relate to his lyrics and relate to a lot of his stories.

James also tipped his hat to Kendrick’s lyrical mastery. Watch his comments below.