Compton, CA is the birthplace of many notable acts of talent, and Kendrick Lamar is one of the city’s most intriguing creators. In flat honesty, he is one of the most intriguing artists in hip-hop, overall. The simple moment a 13-year-old Kendrick decided to sit down and write his first lyrics, has transitioned into some of the most influential moments today. As 4 years has passed since his “DAMN” album release, fans have continually sat and wondered what they’d expect from Kendrick Lamar next.
For those new to the Kendrick Lamar audience, Kendrick kicked off his career under Top Dawg Entertainment as a teenager back in 2003, shortly after the release of his very first mixtape ‘Youngest Head N*gga In Charge’. And boy, has that came into fruition. Thereafter, Kendrick was heating up so much at the time, he met music mogul Jay-Z and signed another deal, briefly working with Def Jam records. Within this window of time, he maneuvered under the alias as ‘K-Dot’ and managed to release two more official mixtape installments, ‘Training Day’ and ‘C4’.
He eventually dropped the alias K-Dot upon the release of ‘Kendrick Lamar’ the EP in 2009. In the new making of Kendrick, he created “Black Hippy” — a group made up of his label mates Ab Soul and Jay Rock. This is when the value of his artistry began to speak for itself.
Things began to really look up for Kendrick. He walked in his new power, and released his last mixtape ‘Overly Dedicated’ in 2010. This caught the attention of Compton native music mogul Dr. Dre. And it had been up from there. Scoring a spot in XXL’s 2011 freshman class was an extra boost. This is when fans were beginning to experience Kendrick’s history in the making. The bodies of work that Kendrick formed, and the moments in between are truly timeless.
official bodies of work
The start of something vast, Section.80 was the first official studio album that hip-hop’s catalog was able to receive from Kendrick. Beginning something unstoppable, check out a great example from the Section.80 track list: ADHD
The second official studio album from Kendrick to really lock things in was good kid, m.A.A.d city. Relatable, realistic, and conceptual, good kid, m.A.A.d city gave hip-hop several hits. Before this release, Kendrick signed a deal with Interscope and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath, conjointly released through them and T.D.E. Enjoy an example: B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe
*After this point, a notable and respected Kendrick makes an appearance on Big Sean’s track, Control. He lyrically provoked some of hip-hops hottest artist at the time, and the controversy on his verse stirred the pot up and grew deep interest in Kendrick’s journey.
Posing as his third studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly was a revolutionary statement, more than an album for most. Heavily based upon black power, and conversations centering the African-American community, To Pimp A Butterfly left a historical imprint in hip-hop’s history. Listen to an example here: Alright
untitled unmastered. was a project release where Kendrick basically just dumped the clip, giving fans a compilation of demos created in the midst of the making on To Pimp A Butterfly. Listen to a fan-favorite track: untitled 02 | 06.23.2014.
Considerably one of the most groundbreaking albums released in 2017, Kendrick’s strategy with DAMN. is beyond epic. So much so, it was certified triple platinum. Check out a popular song from DAMN.: Loyalty ft. Rihanna
Executively producing for Marvel’s Black Panther film, Kendrick Lamar tapped in behind the scenes with the soundtrack Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By, featuring T.D.E label-mate princess, SZA, Jay Rock, Future, Mozzy, Jorja Smith, and more. Check out a fan-favorite track: King’s Dead ft. Jay Rock and Future
In the midst of all this solid content, Kendrick has done a number of outstanding performances on platforms like the Grammy’s stage, Jimmy Fallon, and many more. Landing a guest role on STARZ hit series POWER, founding a new creative company “PG Lang”, garnering 10+ Grammys, and a Pulitzer Prize later, the Compton legend delivers some new, news.
Just months after the fourth anniversary of DAMN. Kendrick announces that he will be releasing his last and final album with T.D.E very soon. His fair-well was provided on a one-step blog entitled oklama.com, which is currently the most recent, and only post on his Instagram at the moment.
The blog also shares a perspective directly from Kendrick, simply acknowledging his progress, his everlasting influence and more. This final album announcement has fans in a frenzy, and in curiosity too. The general question floating around is, musically speaking, is this good bye? Or good bye, for now?
Every story has an angle and some sort of closing solution, but even after this extensive overview of Kendrick Lamar’s career, it’s easy to see that he and his story are both forever evolving. This may be his last T.D.E album, but it doesn’t seem like the last of Kendrick. So, what’s really next?
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