Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter. Born and raised in Compton, California, he kicked off his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). He began to come into limelight in 2010, after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, Lamar independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his debut single, "HiiiPoWeR". By that time, he had heaped up a large Internet followers and collaborated with several other artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. In 2012, he crossed over to mainstream audiences with his major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city which was widely regarded as an instant classic. In 2015, he dropped To Pimp a Butterfly to widespread acclaim. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The following year, untitled unmastered dropped by surprise. In April of 2017, Kendrick dropped DAMN. on Good Friday
Known for his storytelling, imagery, wordplay, passion and varied song structures, Kendrick brings hard-hitting lyricism with narratives to the West Coast, not traditionally known for its lyricists. Kendrick Lamar’s position within the rap game is held incredibly high. Lamar is placed No. 9 on Billboard’s The 10 Best Rappers of All Time, along with popular artists, Jay-Z, Nas, Notorious B.I.G., and others.
Lamar is also a member of the hip-hop collective Black Hippy, along with Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul, all of which are a part of the TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) label. He is also signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment imprint label under Interscope Records.
Lamar has received a number of accolades over the course of his career, including seven Grammy Awards. He received a total of seven nominations at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014, including Album of the Year for good kid, m.A.A.d city. At the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015, his single "i" earned him his first two wins: Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Lamar received his second Album of the Year nomination at the 58th Grammy Awards for To Pimp a Butterfly, also leading the list with 11 categories. He went on to pass Eminem as the rapper with the most nominations in a single night, and second overall behind Michael Jackson, who holds the record of 12 nominations since 1984. Lamar was the most-awarded artist at the ceremony with five, including Best Rap Album. The rapper appeared for the first time on the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2016 In early 2013, MTV named Lamar the number one "Hottest MC in the Game", on their annual list. Time named Lamar one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. Aside from his solo career, Lamar is also known as a member of the West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his TDE label-mates and fellow South Los Angeles-based rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q.
In April 2015, Lamar became engaged to his longtime girlfriend Whitney Alford. When asked about his favorite rappers, Kendrick Lamar stated that Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, Nas, and Eminem are his top five favorite rappers