Kendrick Lamar heats up the cover of XXL Magazine's Winter 2014 issue. This marks the Compton rhymer's first solo cover for the hip-hop publication. He appeared on the 2011 Freshman Class issue, another with Dr. Dre in 2012, and most recently, with his Black Hippy crew in 2013.

Instead of being interviewed, King Kendrick penned his own story for XXL titled 'Writer at War.' In it, the 'i' rapper details his experience with "extraordinary fame, the impact he has had on his fans (and vice versa), the process in which he records and his overall mind state after two years on the road and so much more."

Elsewhere in the issue, the editors recap the year in rap with articles on artists who made an impact in 2014, including French Montana, E-40 and Big Sean. There's also a holiday gift guide for those trying to buy presents for that hard-to-please rap fan.

It's good to see that XXL magazine is still bringing hip-hop on a higher level.

XXL's Winter 2014 issue, with Kendrick Lamar on the cover, is on newsstands now. Go pick it up.

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