Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper and songwriter best known for his interesting take on life on Southern California's tough streets, and for his affiliation with rap star and super-producer Dr. Dre.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, dropped his last name to perform as Kendrick Lamar,was born in Compton, California, on June 17, 1987. His parents had moved to Compton from Chicago to escape the city's gang culture, although Lamar's father had been associated with the notorious Gangster Disciples gang. As the 1980s crack trade and West Coast gang presence increased, Lamar grew up around precarious street activity, but he seemed more influenced than harmed by it. He was a good student who enjoyed writing, first stories and poems, and then lyrics.
In 2010 Kendrick released his first full-length independent album under Top Dawg Entertainment. Titled Section.80, it was released exclusively on iTunes. The album continued to shine a light on Lamar's talent and distinctive views on the street life that he knew so well but that did not appear to adversely affect him,
Lamar continued writing music and lyrics, and continued to tour and collaborate with more popular recording artists, such as Young Jeezy, The Game, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. Dr. Dre, one of hip-hop's most respected and influential producers, took the young artist under his wing, becoming his mentor in both music and business.
As the buzz on Lamar continued to build, Dr. Dre signed him to his independent record label, Aftermath Entertainment, alongside more established rap stars Eminem and 50 Cent.
In October 2012, Kendrick released his album good kid m.A.A.d city. The album included hit singles like "Swimming Pools (Drank)" and "Poetic Justice," and the rapper's emergence as a talent to watch.