Kendrick Lamar is one of the hottest young West Coast hip-hop rappers on the scene. He has worked with such heavyweights like Jay-Z, E-40, Game, Lil’ Wayne, Young Jeezy and Busta Rhymes. Kendrick was born in Compton, CA by Chicago parents. He regularly reps his city in his lyrics, though he does no represent the violence and criminal aspect often associated with his hometown. He first gained major attention after the release of his fourth mixtape, Overly Dedicated, in 2010. In 2011 he released his first independent album to critical acclaim, Section.80, released exclusively through iTunes and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year.
Through the success of his mixtapes, he gained mainstream attention and was signed to Aftermath and Interscope Records. He has been featured on some of the hottest mainstream albums of recent, including Drake’s Take Care and Game’s The R.E.D. Album. Kendrick Lamar has continued the tradition of lyrical West Coast rappers. Some of his influences include 2Pac, Eminem and Jay-Z.
His debut major record album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, debuted at #2 and has received good critical acclaim. As of December 2012 it has sold 506,000 copies, being certified Gold by the RIAA. His hit single, Swimming Pools, is a certified hit getting heavy radio and video airplay, topping the U.S. rap charts at #1 and being certified as Platinum. As he tours and continues to write hot lyrics for features and his own works, Kendrick is sure to continue to rise in the rap game.
Lamar is a member of hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, along with fellow West Coast rappers and label mates Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. Though Black Hippy have yet to release an album of their own to date, they are featured as a group on each group members solo efforts, including a remix of Swimming Pools.
With young exuberance high energy, lyrical skills and dedication to the art and game of rap, there is no telling what heights Kendrick Lamar may reach in his career. It truly seems that the sky is the limit for this young MC. Rappers, West Coast or otherwise, would be wise to take heed of this lyrical beast and beware…or you just might get ate up!