Legal name: Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American rapper from Compton, California. Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the moniker K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with Carson-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). Lamar began to gain major recognition in 2010 after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he released the independent album Section.80, which included Lamar's debut single, "HiiiPoWeR". By that time, he had collaborated with several prominent artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg, and Busta Rhymes.
Lamar secured a recording contract with Aftermath and Interscope Records in 2012. His major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in October 2012 to critical success. The record contained the top 40 singles "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", and "Poetic Justice", and debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart; it was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Preceded by the Grammy Award-winning single "i", Lamar released his third studio album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 to universal acclaim. The album drew on free jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word, and debuted atop the charts in the U.S. and the UK. In 2016, Lamar released untitled unmastered., a collection of unreleased demos that originated during the recording sessions for Butterfly.
Lamar has received wide acclaim and a number of accolades over the course of his career, including seven Grammy Awards. In early 2013, MTV named Lamar the No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game" on their annual list. Time named him 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 labelmates and fellow South Los Angeles-based rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q.