Kendrick Lamar fans are used to hearing him cite the likes of fellow West Coast legends like Tupac and Dr. Dre as his inspiration, but K. Dot revealed inspiration from Prodigy at the 2017 BET Awards.
While accepting his award as Best Male Hip Hop Artist from presenters Lil Kim and Havoc of Mobb Deep, Kendrick shouted out the late Prodigy, who died last week at age 42. He then said that the Queens lyricist inspired his first mixtape Y.H.N.I.C.; the title was apparently taken from Prodigy's solo debut, H.N.I.C.
"He inspired my first mixtape, at 16 years old," Kendrick admits. "Off that album, I was inspired to study my skills, and work on my connection with my neighborhood, and how I can inspire them the same way he inspired the streets."
Kendrick's award was presented by Prodigy's Mobb Deep groupmate Havoc, and Lil Kim, who appeared on the group's classic remix of "Quiet Storm."