Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter from Compton, California.
He first gained major attention after the release of his 2010 mixtape O(verly) D(edicated). In 2011, his album Section.80, released exclusively through iTunes, instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip-hop releases of the year. In 2012, he crossed over to mainstream audiences with his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, which was widely regarded as an instant classic. In 2015, he released To Pimp a Butterfly to widespread acclaim. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The following year, untitled unmastered. was released by surprise. In April of 2017, Kendrick released DAMN. on Good Friday. After five years of silence, on May 13, 2022, Kendrick released his fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
Known for his storytelling, imagery, wordplay, passion and varied song structures, Kendrick brings hard-hitting lyricism with narratives to the West Coast, not traditionally known for its lyricists.
Kendrick Lamar’s position within the rap game is held incredibly high. Lamar was ranked at No. 9 on Billboard’s 10 Best Rappers of All Time list, alongside artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Notorious B.I.G. and more. He has also been nominated for 29 Grammy Awards and has won 12 of them; with two for Best Rap Album. He is also the only rapper to win all of the Grammy Awards in the rap field at the same ceremony, doing so in 2016 and 2018.
Lamar is a member of the hip-hop collective Black Hippy, along with Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul—all of whom came up together as a part of Top Dawg Entertainment; however, in 2022, it was announced that Kendrick would be departing TDE following the release of his fifth studio album. He is also signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment imprint, under Interscope Records.
In February of 2018, Kendrick and TDE released Black Panther: The Album (Music from and Inspired by). It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. In April, later the same year, he won the Pulitzer Prize in music for his album, DAMN.
Several years of relative inactivity followed, with Kendrick only resurfacing for features or collaborative efforts. In March of 2020, Lamar and Dave Free launched PgLang, a production company whose name stands for “program language.” In August 2021, Kendrick launched a new website, where he proceeded to announce the release date for his next project in April of 2022. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers appeared on Friday, May 13, as promised—a double album five years in the making.