Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter. Raised in Compton, California, Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE).
He began to gain recognition in 2010, after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his debut single, “HiiiPoWeR”. By that time, he had amassed a large online following and collaborated with several prominent artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Busta Rhymes, and Snoop Dogg.
Lamar’s major label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in 2012 by TDE, Aftermath, and Interscope Records to critical success. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The record contained the top 40 singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, and “Poetic Justice”.