- NAME: Kendrick Lamar
- OCCUPATION: Rapper
- BIRTH DATE: June 17, 1987 (Age: 26)
- Did You Know?: At age 8, Kendrick Lamar watched Dr. Dre film a music video.
- EDUCATION: Centennial High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Compton, California
- Full Name: Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
- AKA: Kendrick Lamar
- AKA: K-Dot
- ZODIAC SIGN: Gemini
Best Known For
Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper and songwriter best known for his interesting take on life on Southern California's tough streets, and for his affiliation with rap star and super-producer Dr. Dre.
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Now the quiet, observant kid who made good grades in school was poised to become rap's newest superstar.
In October 2012, Lamar's highly anticipated major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released to wide acclaim. Lady Gaga recorded a song with Lamar for the album, but it ultimately was not included due to "creative differences." Hit singles like "Swimming Pools (Drank)" and "Poetic Justice," and the rapper's emergence as a talent to watch, cleared the way for him to make some major American television appearances while promoting the album, including Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. This solidified his fan base, not only among hard-core hip-hop heads, but also among college students and fans of alternative rock.
Lamar's appeal to the masses didn't stop there. The thought-provoking lyrics on his debut album caught the attention of hip-hop critics as well, with MTV naming him the "Hottest MC" of 2012—putting him in the company of other rappers who have earned the title, including Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Additionally, critics took note of Lamar's verse on the song "Control," by rapper Big Sean. Although the track was penned by another artist, Lamar's verse drew attention because of his challenge to several other popular names in the hip-hop world, including Drake, J. Cole and Big Sean himself. The bold claims in the controversial verse rapped by Lamar brought about a vibe that was reminiscent of the classic hip-hop era, drawing appreciation from critics, rappers and fans alike.
Lamar remains popular for his sharp observations of street culture, often examining the psychology of the victims of crimes. "That's the most interesting story to me," he told the British newspaper The Guardian. "At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out."
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Since its emergence in the 1980s, rap and hip-hop music has grown from an underexposed form of expression into a way for people of all backgrounds to shed light on their lives through rhythm and poetry. Pioneering rappers, such as Jay-Z, Queen Latifah and the Beastie Boys, helped spark the fire for rap to grow into the hot genre that it is today. Browse through a collection of famous rappers who influenced the hip-hop scene.
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