ARTIST

Kendrick Lamar

Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, California, Lamar originally rapped as K. Dot and released a series of mixtapes under that name. Youngest Head Nigga in Charge (2003), issued when he was only 16 years old, caught the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment and led to a long-term association that helped raise the rapper's profile. Training Day (2005) and C4 (2009) also preceded his decision to go by his birth name. The latter was issued the same year he became part of Black Hippy -- beside fellow Top Dawg artists Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and ScHoolboy Q -- a group whose members, for the most part, appeared on one another's mixtapes and albums. Overly Dedicated (2010) was the first Kendrick Lamar mixtape and fared well enough to enter Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that October. His first official album, Section.80 (2011), was released as a digital download the following year and entered the Billboard 200 at number 113. By that point in his career, Lamar's reputation had been strengthened through guest appearances on dozens of tracks, and he had the support of veteran West Coast stars as well. During a 2011 concert, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Game dubbed him "The New King of the West Coast," a notion Dre endorsed more significantly by signing Lamar to the Aftermath label. Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was released in October 2012 and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Three of its singles -- "Swimming Pools (Drank)," "Poetic Justice," and "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" -- reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, with each one enjoying lengthy stays on playlists of urban U.S. radio stations. More significantly, the album showcased Lamar as an exceptional storyteller capable of making compelling concept albums. When the nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were announced, Lamar was listed in seven categories, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year. He won none of the awards. Rather than rest, Lamar remained active during 2013-2014, with touring as well as appearances on tracks by the likes of Tame Impala, YG, and fellow Top Dawg affiliate SZA. Early in 2015, he announced that his third album, To Pimp a Butterfly, was due in March with tracks featuring Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Thundercat, and George Clinton. A technical accident caused the digital album to be released eight days early, but it immediately earned rave reviews and topped the Billboard 200 with sales of 325,000 copies within its first week.

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper from Compton, California. Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the moniker K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with Carson-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). Lamar began to gain major recognition in 2010 after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he released the independent album Section.80, which included Lamar's debut single, "HiiiPoWeR". By that time, he had collaborated with several prominent artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg, and Busta Rhymes.nLamar secured a recording contract with Aftermath and Interscope Records in 2012. His major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in October 2012 to critical sucess. The record contained the top 40 singles "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", and "Poetic Justice", and debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart; it was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Preceded by the Grammy Award-winning single "i", Lamar released his third studio album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 to universal acclaim. The album incorporated elements of free jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word, and debuted atop the charts in the U.S. and the UK. In 2016, Lamar released untitled unmastered., a collection of unreleased demos that originated during the recording sessions for Butterfly.nLamar has received wide acclaim and a number of accolades over the course of his career, including seven Grammy Awards. In early 2013, MTV named Lamar the No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game" on their annual list. Aside from his solo career, Lamar is also known as a member of the West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his TDE labelmates and fellow South Los Angeles-based rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q.

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