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VIBE Magazine’s latest debut is an unexpected collaboration featuring Kendrick Lamar and Miguel. But on second thought, the pair are both Cali natives and both on top of their respective games, so maybe the cover art is more expected than we initially thought. 

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With 2013 officially marking VIBE’s 20th Anniversary, the mag revealed its double cover April / May ‘Big List’ issue featuring breakout stars, Miguel and Kendrick Lamar. The “Big List Issue” features a supreme cadre of lists highlighting the biggest pop culture moments, albums, movies, athletes, musical geniuses and more from VIBE’s inception in 1993 to present, in addition to the ’20 Musical Geniuses’ list that pays homage to R. Kelly, Kanye West, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Rick Rubin, Eminem, OutKast and Tupac Shakur. 

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Extras aside, the cover stars really opened up in a candid interview conducted together two weeks after their photo shoot at GNL Studios in Downtown LA. 

Check out the excerpts from the interview below. 

On which artist puts them on their toes and to go harder:

KL: “My partner J. Cole is always keeping it to the point where you have to show and prove. My partner Drake kills it.”

M: “What’s fucked up about R&B is that that camaraderie doesn’t exist. I don’t really know why.”

When asked about the biggest risk they’ve taken artistically:

M: “Overall it doesn’t sound like any other R&B album that’s been put out in the past decade…I remember having a conversation with Mark, my A&R like, “Man, I don’t know if they’re going to get this shit.””

KL: “The idea of a concept record has been lost for a long time – will that translate to 16-year-old kids in high school rather than the super energetic joint on the radio? I definitely had that in the back of my mind when I was creating this album.”

On Frank Ocean’s announcement:

M: “In all reality, Frank Ocean took a big chance the way that artists are supposed to. Sonically and how he writes and what he’s writing about and how he chooses to express himself vocally, all his choices are very unique and I appreciate that about him. Not only did his announcement overshadow my music, but it overshadowed his as well.”

When asked if there was anything they didn’t get to do that they have in mind for next go-round?

KL: “I never got a chance to reach out to him (Nas). I was so wrapped up in getting the music done and samples cleared and mastered. I didn’t wanna rush the process; I actually wanted to sit in the studio and vibe with him. [It was] the only thing that I had a vision for that I sought out to accomplish, but in due time…”

The VIBE April / May issue will be available on newsstands on April 26th.

Check out the full conversation here.