Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Since his mainstream debut in 2012 with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Lamar has been regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Aside from his solo career, he is also known as a member of the hip hop supergroup Black Hippy alongside his Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) label-mates Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Schoolboy Q.
Raised in Compton, California, Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K.Dot, releasing a mixtape titled Y.H.N.I.C. (Hub City Threat Minor of the Year) that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment. He began to gain recognition in 2010 after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his first single “HiiiPoWeR”. By that time, he had amassed a large online following and collaborated with several prominent hip hop artists.
Lamar has received many accolades over the course of his career, including 14 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, a Brit Award, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and an Academy Award nomination. In 2012, MTV named him the Hottest MC in the Game on their annual list. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. In 2015, he received the California State Senate’s Generational Icon Award. Three of his studio albums have been listed in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020).