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Taylor Swift talks about how Kendrick Lamar’s music affects her


Pop star Taylor Swift is gracing the cover of this month’s issue of Rolling Stone, and in the magazine, she reveals what music she prefers when she needs to feel empowered. It’s not any of her country pop contemporaries or top 40 mainstays like Beyoncé or Katy Perry. Swift says she prefers Compton rap superstar, Kendrick Lamar.

“You want to know a trick to immediately go from feeling victimized to feeling awesome?” Swift asks rhetorically. Then the 24-year-old hands the writer her cellphone and some ear buds so that he can listen to Lamar’s fiery 2012 track “Backseat Freestyle.”

“This is my go-to,” she adds. “I know every word.”

The story emphasizes Swift’s new album, 1989, and her move from pop-country to straight-ahead pop music. The singer has flirted with hip-hop affectations throughout her career, most recently in the video for the album’s first single, “Shake It Off.” Her ease with hip-hop aesthetics has been met with criticism and accusations of cultural appropriation; but it’s unlikely to sway the singer from her current path.

1989 is scheduled to be released Oct. 7, 2014.