ACL Artist Spotlight: Kendrick Lamar

If you happen to have lived in the middle of the woods or under a rock for the past 4 years then I apologize, for you probably have not heard the name Kendrick Lamar. If you have lived in the mainstream world , then 9 times out of 10 you will definitely know the name.

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Growing up in Compton, California, Kendrick Lamar released his first mixtape called Youngest Head N**** in Charge (Hub City Threat: Minor of the Year) at the age of 16 in 2004. This made him receive a record deal with TD Entertainment and he released two other mixtapes with the label until his fourth mixtape, Overly Dedicated, dropped in 2010. One of the songs within the mixtape was “Ignorance Is Bliss”, which caught the attention of producer Dr.Dre.

 

 

 

In January 2011 Kendrick released his first studio album Section.80, with the single “HiiiPoweR” dropping to critical acclaim. He got success from his album and began touring the West coast until he ultimately changed labels to Interscope records in March 2012. It was then he dropped one of his biggest successes to date, his album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City. This new album contained two of his biggest hits, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Backseat Freestyle”.

 

After his big success of the album he embarked on the “Yeezus” tour with Kanye West, and ended up winning five awards at the BET awards. At the end of 2013 he was named GQ’s rapper of the year, and rounded out the year with a nomination for seven Grammy awards. Although he didn’t win Best Rap Album, a lot of people thought he got snubbed and deserved the award, earning him success and acclaim.

 

In the following year Lamar toured but did not drop any new songs until the beginning of 2015, when he released his much-anticipated album To Pimp A Butterfly. The album featured some of the best songs of 2015, with the singles “i”, “King Kunta”, “For Free (interlude)”, and “Alright”. Immediately following that he was featured in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”, a song that reached number one in the U.S. and was on the top five for over 6 weeks.

At the 58th annual Grammy’s he performed and took home Rap Album of The Year, with many calling his performance the top moment of the night. In March 2016 he released untitled unmastered, a compilation album that reached number two on Billboard’s list. Following that he was featured on Beyonce’s Lemonade album for the extremely powerful song “Freedom”.

 

Now, Kendrick is coming to Austin for two weekends, headlining the Austin City Limits Festival on Saturday night. If you want to catch him being the great performer he is , you can buy tickets here: www.acl.com/tickets/

Irina is currently a freshman at the University of Houston and is majoring in political science. If she's not writing for coogradio or the daily cougar you can usually find her studying or in bed watching netflix.

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