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Kendrick Lamar: A West Coast Favorite

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Kendrick Lamar: A West Coast Favorite

Dalina Blassingame, Staff Writer

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Kendrick Lamar is one of the hottest West Coast rappers/songwriters in the music industry. Also known as K.Dot and the Voice of Compton, Kendrick was a part of the Los Angles music group Black Hippy. In 2004, Kendrick signed to Carson-based independent label, Top Dawg Interscope Records. By 2012, Kendrick was signed to both Aftermath and Interscope Records. Even before releasing his major debut album, he worked with several mainstream artists such as Drake, Snoop Dogg, The Game, and Wiz Khalifa.

Kendrick has two major albums: good kid, m.A.A.d city (October 2012) and To Pimp a Butterfly (March 2015). Good kid, m.A.A.d city received widespread acclaim across the country. This album’s top 40 hits include the singles “Swimming Pools” and “Poetic Justice.” By the time of the release, the album reached number two on the Billboard 200 and went platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of 2013, MTV announced Kendrick as the “Hottest MC in the Game.” Kendrick received seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards and won both Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for the single “i” at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

When To Pimp a Butterfly was released, it was said that the album was too “preachy.” However, Lamar wanted that outcome because people take his music seriously, and he has so much power in what he produces.

A few King/Drew students were recently asked what they think of Kendrick Lamar. Senior Cameron Burley stated, “I think he’s an amazing artist, not just a rapper but an artist. Honestly, he’s one of my favorites. With his last album, I felt closer to my culture…proud to be black…It was a pro-African American album. He’s unique, he stands out, and he makes it work. His flow means something and it conveys a message in a different way.”

Senior Victor Ogunlade would certainly agree with Cameron. When asked how he feels about Kendrick Lamar, Victor replied, “He’s hard! I like his music. He influenced me to speak my mind. His flow makes him a good rapper.”

Though Kendrick has obtained fame, he has not forgotten where he came from and gives back to his community. Those featured in his latest video for the song “King Kunta” are friends from his neighborhood. And though many of Kendrick’s family members live in Compton, he is now able to provide them with better living conditions despite the distance that separates Kendrick’s home from theirs.

Overall, Kendrick is an all-around true artist and has remained the same even while holding a prestigious position in the music industry.

 

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Kendrick Lamar: A West Coast Favorite