Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer.
He was born in Compton, California, on June 17, 1987, the son of a couple from Chicago. Although not in a gang himself, he grew up around gang members, with his closest friends being Westside Piru Bloods and his father, Kenny Duckworth, being a Gangster Disciple.
His first name was given to him by his mother in honor of American singer-songwriter Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations. He grew up on welfare and in Section 8 housing.
In 1995, at the age of eight, Lamar witnessed his idols Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre filming the music video for their hit single “California Love”, which proved to be a significant moment in his life.
As a child, Lamar attended McNair Elementary and Vanguard Learning Center in the Compton Unified School District. As a teenager, he graduated from Centennial High School in Compton, where he was a straight-A student.
Full name: Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
Date of Birth: June 17, 1987
Birth Place: Compton, California, U.S.A
Education: Centennial High School
Profession: Rapper, Songwriter, Record producer
Networth: $75 million
Career: In 2004, at the age of 16, Kendrick Lamar released his debut project; a mixtape titled ‘Youngest Head Nigga in Charge’, under the pseudonym K-Dot. The album earned him appreciation in the locality as well as a contract with record label Top Dawg Entertainment.
He began work with the label and in 2005 released the album ‘Training day’, a mixtape of 26 song recordings.
Between 2006 and 2007, he worked alongside rappers like Jay Rock and Ya Boy. He was featured by his pseudonym in rapper The Games’ songs ‘The Cypha’ and ‘Cali Niggaz’. 8He featured in Jay Rock’s single ‘All My Life (In the Ghetto)’ in 2008, which was supported by Warner Bros. Records.
In 2009, he released his next mixtape ‘C4’, which was featured on Wayne’s ‘The carter III LP’. Around this time he began using his original name and stopped using his pseudonym at work. Later that year he released ‘The Kendrick Lamar EP (Extended Play)’.
In 2009, he also formed a hip hop group ‘Black Hippy’ with Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. In a majority of instances, each team member appeared in the others videos and tapes.
In 2010, he released his first mixtape ‘Overly Dedicated’ as Kendrick Lamar and the album made an entry to the Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that year.
In 2011, he released his first official album titled ‘Section.80’ digitally, and the album went on to gain the 13th position at the Billboard 200.
It was in this period that he gained much popularity with guest appearances and album releases.
In 2011, he released two albums, ‘Good Kid’ and ‘M.A.A.D City’. His albums earned much appreciation and were nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards that year.
In December 2014, it was announced that Lamar had started a partnership with sportswear brand Reebok.
In 2017, it was announced that Lamar entered a collaboration deal with Nike.
Lamar has won thirteen Grammy Awards. At the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015, his single “i” earned him his first two wins: Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.
At the 58th Grammy Awards, Lamar led the list of nominations with 11 mentions, passing Eminem and Kanye West as the rapper with the most nominations in a single night, and second overall behind Michael Jackson and Babyface, who hold the record of 12 nominations.
Lamar was the most-awarded artist at the ceremony with five.
Those three albums were featured on Rolling Stone’s industry-voted list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2020.
DAMN. won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music, making Lamar the first non-jazz or classical artist to win the award.
In April 2015, Lamar became engaged to his high school girlfriend, beautician Whitney Alford. He is a cousin of NBA player Nick Youngand rapper Baby Keem.
Lamar is a devout Christian having converted following the death of a friend. He has been outspoken about his faith in his music and interviews.
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012)
To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)