Person of The Week :Kendrick Lamar
By : Jazmine Montgomery
When it comes to most rap songs , in today’s day age it is mainly talking about women , money , cars , alcohol , and partying . There aren’t too many songs that speak deep meaning , and stand for something . Most Critics would say that “Hip Hop is Dead” . Rapper Kendrick Lamar has definitely changed the rap game , with his deep lyrics , and influential beat he is definitely becoming one of the greatest rappers of this generation .
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born June 17 , 1987 in Compton , California . During the time of Kendrick’s childhood Compton was one of the roughest areas of California to live in , gang violence was extremely high during this time . Kendrick never let it influence him negatively even with his father being apart of the gang life and his uncle was shot , and killed because of the gang violence. If anything it had more of positive impact on him , Kendrick said his family saw something in him at a young age and did all that they could to shield him from the streets . When he was younger Kendrick put all of the things he saw as a child on to paper he began writing short stories , poems , and later on he would turn those stories , and poems he wrote into rap lyrics . In 1995 , when Dr.Dre and Tupac shot the California Love video right there in his neighborhood , Kendrick’s father took him to watch the video being made , it caused Kendrick’s love for rap to grown even more .
In 2003 , Kendrick recorded his first mixtape at the age of 16 years old going by the name K.dot . The mixtape caused quite a buzz in South California that it got him signed to Top Dawg Entertainment a respected independent label where he worked with other upcoming West Coast artist like Schoolboy Q , Ab soul , and Jay Rock they became known as the rap collective Black Hippy . This would later bring on great things for Kendrick . In 2010 , Kendrick dropped the name K.Dot , and decided to go by his full name Kendrick Lamar . He also would release his own independent album on iTunes with Top Dawg entertainment titled Section.80 with his new name . Kendrick was slowly making a name for himself touring along artist like Lil Wayne , The Game & Busta Rhymes . That same year Kendrick would sign with Dr.Dre , who would become Kendrick’s mentor in music , and in business . In the Fall of 2012 , Kendrick came out with his second album that would take his career to a whole new level titled good kid , m.A.A.d city where he would tell the story of his teenage years of growing up in Compton. His hit two singles from the album Swimming Pools , and Poetic Justice helped him build a whole new type of fanbase just not with the rap heads , but with college students , and alternative rock fans as well .
In February 2015 , Kendrick took home two Grammy’s for Best Rap Performance , and Best Rap song for his single “i” that would later appear on his third album How to Pimp a Butterfly , which would come out a month later . Kendrick original release date was March 28th , but due to a mistake on the record companies end it was released it a week early on March 16th the album was on Billboards top 200 for two weeks , and ranked in the top 10 in some countries as well . Kendrick stepped out of his comfort zone , and worked with Taylor Swift in her summer hit Bad Blood , brining his own swagger to the song .
Kendrick never forgets where he came from , he makes sure that he gives back to the community that made him who he is . He moved his parents , and other family members out of Compton into a better neighborhood . In 2014 , Kendrick decided to find a way to give back to those less fortunate then him , by using the proceeds he made from his tour by giving it to Habitat Humanity . Kendrick didn’t just stop there , he has made sure to give back to Compton’s school district , and other charities in the area supporting his old neighborhood . California’s Senate recognized Kendrick on May 2015 honoring him as 35th Senate Districts Generational icon . Kendrick strives to show this young generation from his hometown , and for kids all over that there is a way out , and you don’t have to rob , and kill to make money .
Kendrick wants to use his platform in a positive way by being a generational voice . Kendrick has been known here lately speaking on the recent events in the African American community through his music . Kendrick is definitely becoming one of the upcoming artist of our generation trying to build a positive platform for himself .