Born Kendrick Lamar Duckworth in Compton, California, Lamar has become one of the most refreshing voices on today's hip-hop scene and like many artists of his genre, he used social media and the internet to reach new audiences as he was making a name for himself in the industry. Lamar released his first mixtape when he was in high school and rapped under the moniker, K-Dot. Over the years, Lamar would make meaningful connections with other artists in the genre, and his big break came in 2008 when he made a cameo appearance on Jay Rock's debut single, "All My Life (In The Ghetto)." This allowed him to go on tour with the rapper Game and would be featured on a variety of tracks for West Coast rappers and would release his own mixtapes over the course of this period. Finally, in 2009, he dropped the K-Dot nickname and released his first EP, Kendrick Lamar EP.
In 2010, Overly Dedicated, another mixtape, did well enough to break into Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart and began to build momentum for the rapper's first major release. In 2011, Lamar would unveil his first full-length record, Section.80, which was released with Top Dawg Entertainment. Although the album would peak at No. 113 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the record would open up a world of opportunities for the young artist. Over the next several years, he would collaborate with a variety of musicians, including Big Pooh, Tech N9ne, Game and Jay Rock.
The release of Lamar's first major record label album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was a runaway success and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The record would sell more than 200,000 units in its first week and would catapult Kendrick Lamar to superstardom around the world. Featuring the successful singles, "Swimming Pools," "M.A.A.d City" and "Poetic Justice" would all break into the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and solidify Lamar as one of the rising stars in the rap genre.
Hot off the heels of the success of good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar is one of the most sought-after artists in the music business who has been busy collaborating with everyone from Young Jeezy to Lady Gaga. With music that touches on a dark subject matter and technical skill that's been likened to greats like Tupac Shakur and Nas, all eyes will be on the career of Kendrick Lamar for the foreseeable future.