Is Kendrick Lamar the greatest rapper alive?

He turns 35 this June 17

Stars Insider

17/06/22 | StarsInsider

MUSIC Rappers

Kendrick Lamar’s reputation precedes him, but how much do you really know about the artist and his work? It’s certainly hard to believe he's only in his mid-thirties, since he’s already created the immense legacy that usually takes people’s entire lives—or their too-sudden deaths—to achieve.

There are few artists as respected as K-Dot, being both a rapper’s rapper as well as nearly every pop fan’s choice of hip hop. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (you can guess why he dropped the last name) maintains the marvel of rap’s lyrical integrity while still providing the bangers that everyone’s body craves.

Born to a father who was embroiled in gangs and a mother who named him after American singer-songwriter Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations, Lamar’s upbringing was a mix of Compton streets and musical expression. He dropped his first full-length project when he was just 16, a mixtape titled ‘Youngest Head N–a in Charge (Hub City Threat: Minor of the Year)’ under the pseudonym K-Dot, and was soon signed to Top Dawg Entertainment.

Seventeen years later, Lamar released his final album for Top Dawg Entertainment before embarking on a new era of music with his mysterious 'oklama' website. 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers' was finally released on May 13, five years after his last album, 'DAMN.' Many songs on the new album feature the voice of Eckhart Tolle, a popular spiritual leader and author. It also features collaboration from Pharrell and samples Florence and the Machine. 

With each year, mixtape, album, soundtrack, and feature, Lamar refines his already razor-sharp talent, and his impact on the world of music, politics, and culture is tangible. His deep moral complexity and sharp political wit deserve a closer look, particularly after making history as the first hip-hop artist to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Check out this gallery to see just what makes him such a big deal.


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