Kendrick Duckworth, known to the masses as Kendrick Lamar, was born on June 17, 1987 in Compton, California.
At an early age, Kendrick Lamar had a passion for music and was determined to dive head-first to act on such passion. At the age of 16, Kendrick released his first mixtape, Youngest Head Nigga in Charge (Hub City Threat: Minor of the Year), which help him secure a recording contract with TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment). Since his humble beginnings, Kendrick Lamar went on to continuously release projects such as Training Day, No Sleep ‘Til NYC (a collaborative effort with Jay Rock), C4, and Overly Dedicated. Building upon the success and critical acclaim he received thanks to his mxtapes, Kendrick Lamar went on to start work on and release his debut album, Section.80.
Released on July 2, 2011, Section.80 was pushed by the lead single, ‘HiiiPower’, which was produced by friend and collaborator, J. Cole. Often not credited as his first album, due to the lack of commercial success & non-traditional release strategy, Section.80 was a hit with the critics & unleashed a new found interest, among music lovers, for Kendrick Lamar. As he was crowned the “King Of the West Coast” by the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and The Game, Kendrick Lamar went on to receive a strong back by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records, who aligned with TDE.
Since the partnership with the major label, Kendrick went on to release his universally acclaimed album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Released on October 22, 2012, good kid, m.A.A.d city spawned hits and fan and critic favorites such as ‘Swimming Pools’, ‘Backseat Freestyle’, ‘m.A.A.d. City’, and ‘Poetic Justice’. As he already received recognition for the way he could paint as story through his lyrical content, Kendrick Lamar pushed his story-telling to the forefront, even more, with the content of the album. With a current metacritic score of 91, good kid, m.A.A.d city is one of the highest critically acclaimed Hip-Hop albums.
On March 16, 2015, Kendrick release his latest studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly. The album’s campaign started with the release of the Isley Brother’s ‘That Lady’ sampled, ‘i’, and was given an additional push through the release of ‘The Blacker The Berry’. Similar to what we found on good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar’s story-telling abilities grew even stronger as the California artist shared not only personal battles but vividly displayed his pro-black feelings through the album’s lyrical content. Just as its predecessor, To Pimp A Butterfly is a hit with the critics as it holds a current metacritic score of 97.
To Pimp A Butterfly is currently slated to take the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 as Kendrick Lamar plans to continue the album’s campaign with upcoming visual and a brand new tour. If you aren’t already, get familiar with Kendrick Lamar’s stellar bodies of work.