Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born in Compton, CA in 1987 during a pivotal time in Hip-Hop culture. Heavily influenced by the West Coast and the streets of Compton, Kendrick began writing stories, poems, which then evolved into lyrics and songs. At age 16, he released his first ever mixtape, which drew interest from his native Southern California and led him to get a record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment. Lamar was now working with up and coming West Coast artists like Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q.
Lamar’s work was big enough to grab the attention of West Coast legend Dr. Dre who took the young artist under his wing and signed him to Aftermath Entertainment. In October, 2012 Lamar’s anticipated major label album, good kid, m.A.A.d city was released to critical acclaim and was dubbed the “Hottest MC’ of 2012 by MTV. Lamar was also honored with the ASCAP Vanguard Award for his work as a composer. In 2015, Lamar would go on to win 5 Grammy awards for his work in To Pimp a Butterfly and later in 2017, Lamar would win 7 Grammy awards for his work in DAMN.
Outside of music, Kendrick Lamar, has been known for many charitable contributions, especially to his hometown of Compton. Lamar has help fund music programs at the Compton Unified School District and non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Lamar was awarded the California State Senate's Generational Icon Award in 2015 for his many contributions to the city of Compton. “It’s definitely an honor to be right here in front of you guys,” said Kendrick. “Being from the city of Compton and knowing the parks that I played at and neighborhoods, I always thought how great the opportunity would be to give back to my community.”