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Kendrick Lamar

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  • Kendrick Lamar

  • Kendrick Lamar

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

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 that, 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 with appearances on tracks by the likes of Tame Impala, YG, and fellow Top Dawg affiliate SZA. He planned his third album for release later that year.

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
08.01.15 Parc Jean-Drapeau Montreal, QC Canada
08.07.15 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA US
08.07.15 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA US
08.08.15 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA US
08.20.15 Green Park - St. Polten St. Polten, Austria
08.28.15 Bramham Park Leeds, Yorkshire UK
08.30.15 Richfield Avenue Reading, Brk UK
09.25.15 Downtown Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV US

eMusic Features

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Six Degrees of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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Six Degrees of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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Interview: Kendrick Lamar

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

"The world looks at this album as very personal," a tired-sounding Kendrick Lamar explains over the phone en route to a concert in West Virginia. "But I don't think they would understand how personal it is unless you grew up around the cats that's on the actual skits. Those are my real homeboys on those skits, those are my real parents on those skits." It's been a few days since the release of good kid, m.A.A.d… more »

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25 Bands to See at Coachella 2012

By Wondering Sound Staff, Contributor

There is every other music festival and then there is Coachella, the California-desert weekend that, in many ways, set the template for all that followed. The first U.S. festival to boast big-ticket reunions and all-over-the-map booking, Coachella continues to maintain its distinctive, idiosyncratic personality. Needless to say, navigating such a wide array of music can be tricky. We've picked 25 acts worth making time for. more »

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