36 years ago today, legendary West Coast rapper, record producer and director Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, often referred to as ‘Kung-Fu Kenny’, was born in Compton, California. Recognised for his historic influence over rap music across the globe, Lamar is one of the greatest emcees on the planet.
Through his affecting discography, ‘Oklama’ has often stirred flagrant conversations about African-American racism, police brutality and the “Hood Politics” in the U.S. For many, Lamar’s provocative rap records serve as an unapologetic commentary on relationships and African culture which draws influence from the earliest days of Hip-Hop.
Lamar’s hard-hitting rap records, which include his debut studio album “Section.80”, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”, “To Pimp A Butterfly”, “Damn” and “Mr. Morales & The Big Steppers”, are revered in the world of Hip-Hop. For many, Lamar’s avant-garde Hip-Hop songs are cult classics.
K.Dot’s rap records “Hiiiipower”, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, “Backseat Freestyle”, “Money Trees”, “The Blacker the Berry”, “DNA”, “America Has A Problem” and “The Hillbillies” have influenced emcees and record producers across generations.
For his fourth studio album “DAMN.”, produced by rap superproducer Mike Will Made-It, ‘King Kendrick’ was honoured with the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Over the years, Lamar has won 17 GRAMMY Awards by the Recording Academy, a Primetime Emmy Award and was nominated by the Academy Awards for his affecting work on Black Panther Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
At the 65th Annual Recording Academy, Kendrick Lamar was honoured with three GRAMMY Awards including “Best Rap Album”, “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Performance”.
In 2012, Kendrick Lamar founded the Compton-based Hip-Hop supergroup “Black Hippy”. The group, which consists of modern gangsta rap pioneers Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Lamar himself, rose to become one of the finest rap groups to emerge from Compton.
“Black Hippy” was inspired by the legendary Compton rap consortium N.W.A. or “Ni–az With Attitude” which consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren.
Besides “Black Hippy”, Lamar founded pgLang with influential rap filmmaker Dave Free. Established on March 5, 2020, Lamar and Free have worked on some of the most remarkable fashion campaigns, short films and rap music through ‘Program Language’.
Lamar turns 36 today. A Happy Birthday, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth.
Listen to Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer-winning LP ‘DAMN.’ and his historic third album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ here.
Watch Kendrick Lamar’s extraordinary performance at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2023 Show: