Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), known simply as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California. In 2004, Lamar signed to the Carson-based indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment and in 2012, Lamar and the label signed a joint venture deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his label-mates and fellow California-based rappers Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul.
Lamar first gained major attention in 2010, after the release of Overly Dedicated, his first retail-release. The following year he released his first independent album, titled Section.80, exclusively through iTunes. The album received critical acclaim and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. Early in his career, before releasing his major-label debut, Lamar amassed a large internet following and had already worked with prominent artists such as Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among others.
His major-label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012, to widespread acclaim. The album spawned the Top 40 hits "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", and "Poetic Justice". Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game" on their annual list. Lamar also received a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014), including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song.
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