Artist Spotlight: Kendrick Lamar




RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2017


Kendrick Lamar Duckworth or Kendrick Lamar as many may know him is an American rapper who was born in Compton, California on June 17, 1987. As an adolescent Lamar often wrote stories about the things he had seen and experienced while growing up on the rough streets of Compton. One day he decided to start making music by telling his stories. He first began rapping under the name K-dot and released a numerous amount of mixtapes which grabbed many people’s attention. One of those people was Dr. Dre. Lamar’s first major album was “good kid, m.A.A.d city” which skyrocketed in sales and was very impressive for a new and upcoming rapper. 

Lamar began rapping under the name K-dot. At age 16 he debuted his first ever mixtape “Y.H.N.I.C.” in 2003. His mixtape grabbed the attention of many people in Southern California and across America. His mixtape was so successful that he got a record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment which was a well known label in Southern California. Once with Top Dawg Entertainment Lamar went on to release two more mixtapes, “Training Day” in 2004 and “C4” in 2009. He also got to work with other West Coast rappers like Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy-Q. Together Kendrick and these rappers formed a group called Black Hippie.   

In 2010 he dropped his rap name K-dot and he started to use his real name. He only used his first and middle name Kendrick Lamar and he dropped his last name. The same year he released his fourth mixtape “Overly Dedicated” and he also debuted his first full-length independent album “Section 80” under Top Dawg Entertainment. He continued to write music and he went on tour. He also began working with well known artists like Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, The Game, Talib Kweli and Dr. Dre. Lamar continued to gain popularity and Dr. Dre eventually signed him to his independent record label Aftermath Entertainment. Aftermath Entertainment was distributed by the major label Universal Music. This gave him the sales and distribution that he needed to bring his rap career to the next level.

In October 2012 he released good kid, m.A.A.d city”. “Swimming Pools”, “Poetic Justice”, “The Recipe”, and “Money Trees” were his major hits off of this album. The success of this album gave Lamar the opportunity to make an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon. His fan base grew exponentially after these television appearances not only by people who listened to Hip-Hop but fans of other genres as well. Also in 2012 MTV named him the “Hottest MC”.

In 2015 Lamar released another album “To Pimp a Butterfly” which featured artists like Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg just to name a few. After releasing this album he was nominated for 11 Grammys and won the first award of the 2016 show for Best Rap Album. In March of 2016, he released  “Untitled Unmastered” which was comprised from a collection of unfinished demos for “To Pimp a Butterfly”.  “Untitled Unmastered” made it to the top of the U.S. Billboard’s Top 200.

Kendrick Lamar is currently getting ready to go on tour across the U.S. He resides in Eastvale, California.