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Who is Kendrick Lamar?

Updated on December 4, 2012

good m.A.A.d. kid

Who is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth? Well if you don’t know by now, he’s the hottest new thing in hip hop/rap. His name is in everybody’s mouth, and his cd in every car. He’s on every magazine, radio station, and website. You’ve probably heard one of his latest singles such as “swimming pools (drank)”, or “Poetic justice”, which uses Janet Jackson’s “Anytime, Anyplace” as the back drop. Hence the name “Poetic Justice”. If you’re a big fan of independent artists and underground rap you probably heard his first major release, Section 80. His album “good kid m.A.A.d city” debuted at number 2, selling 242,122 copies its first week. Impressive for a newcomer.

But what makes the 25 year old so special? Why is he getting so many accolades? Well most of this is evident in his music. Kendrick is a very talented artist who comes around every once in a while. Most artists of that caliber never see mainstream success. He is noted as crediting Tupac as his favorite rapper, and you can definitely tell where some of that comes in at. The video for the single “California Love” with Dr.Dre was a turning point for him. Being from Compton, California he has a lot of west coast legends to look up to. As named Tupac, Dr.Dre, Dj Quick, Snoop Dogg, E-40 and The Game. Most of whom he’s worked with. But it was a single called “Ignorance Is Bliss” that got Dr.Dre’s attention. This song glorified street life and gangsta rap, but at the end of each verse he says “ignorance is bliss”.

His album “good kid m.A.A.d city” , released October 22nd of this year, is what really got my attention. I had been hearing his name, and I’d heard a few of his singles. So I decided to download the album and take a listen to see what the hype was about. Well the album definitely lived up to the hype. From track 1 to track 15, the storytelling is definitely on point. Not all the songs fall in line with the story of him going back to his neighborhood and hanging out with friends. But nonetheless, the songs are impressive. There are 3 songs in particular that are on repeat on my ipod. “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is the first. It is track number 2 on the album, and it tells the story of how Kendrick has reached fame and how people around him start to change. All whilst he tries to stay true to himself. Just looking at the title you would think this song is derogatory, but it’s definitely not. The 2nd of my favorites is “Money Trees”, which gives a day in the life type look at how he was living. The wordplay in that song is amazing, and the beat vibes very nicely. The 3rd “Poetic Justice” featuring Drake, is kind of like a rap love song. There is a girl he mentions throughout the album named “Sherane”. I’m pretty sure he is talking about her in the song, going along with his storytelling.

So far the future is looking bright for Kendrick Lamar. I hope he inspires a new wave of artists to surface that have the same quality type music. It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone so fresh and new, yet still has an old school type of vibe. I hope he continues on this road he is traveling, which could potentially land him with a spot among his own idols. Good luck Kendrick, we’re all wishing for continued success.

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