Kendrick Lamar is one of the most celebrated hip-hop artists in recent memory. His powerful lyrics and thought-provoking music have made him a legend in his own lifetime. Here are 30 fun facts about Kendrick Lamar that will give you insight into this prolific artist:
1. Kendrick Lamar was born on June 17, 1987 in Compton, California. He attended Centennial High School during his teenage years and began to make a name for himself as a rapper during this time.
2. His stage name “Kendrick Lamar” was taken from his government name (Kendrick Lamar Duckworth). He has also used the aliases K Dot, King Kunta, Cornrow Kenny, and Kung Fu Kenny.
3. Kendrick has released four studio albums, five compilation albums and one extended play. His fourth studio album, “DAMN”, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2018—becoming the first non-classical or jazz artist to receive the award.
4. He is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) and Interscope Records and has collaborated with other hip-hop legends such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Jay Rock.
5. Lamar won seven Grammy Awards for his 2017 album “DAMN” including Album of the Year, Best Rap Performance as well as Song of the Year for “HUMBLE”. He also won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
6. He was featured on American rapper Eminem’s single “Love Game” from Eminem’s 2013 album “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”.
7. His debut studio album, “Section 80”, was released digitally in July 2011 and debuted at number 113 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
8. Lamar has been listed four times as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
9. In April 2015, he married his childhood sweetheart Whitney Alford after an eight-year relationship; they have two children together: Cori (born 2019) and Lyric (born 2020).
10. Lamar’s song “Alright” was performed at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, where it became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter activists and has been prominently featured in various protest movements such as the Women’s March.
11. He is also an avid basketball fan and his favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers—Lamar often seen playing basketball with friends during off-time.
12. In 2016, Lamar released an untitled unmastered album which consisted of eight previously unreleased tracks from the recording sessions for his third studio album “To Pimp A Butterfly” (2015).
13. Lamar is heavily influenced by Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., often citing their music as some of his favorite hip-hop albums.
14. He has four tattoos on his back that represent himself, his roots, and inner faith: a rosary bead tattoo with a cross for religion, an outline of Africa for his African heritage, two guns for protection, and two wings to symbolize freedom.
15. Lamar was named “Hottest MC in the Game” by MTV in 2013 and is the only rapper to ever win this award twice—he won it again in 2015.
16. In 2016 he delivered an incredible performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards where he began rapping from atop a tree in the middle of the stage.
17. Lamar has also collaborated with other artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce and U2—each producing a critically acclaimed single on their respective albums.
18. He was named one of GQ’s Men Of The Year for 2016 and is the first rapper to receive this honor from the magazine.
19. Lamar donated $1 million to Compton Unified School District in 2015, providing support for its after-school programs and community centers across the city.
20. In 2018 he released “Black Panther: The Album”, which was a soundtrack album for Marvel’s Black Panther movie starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan; it earned him two more Grammy Awards.
21. Lamar has been nominated for over 23 awards and won 11 of them, including Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video for his song “HUMBLE”.
22. He is an advocate for mental health awareness, often mentioning it in his songs and interviews.
23. In 2020 he released the single “The Greatest” with SZA, which was dedicated to Kobe Bryant who had passed away earlier that year.
24. Kendrick Lamar won a BET Humanitarian award in 2017 for using his platform as an artist to impact social changes such as education funding and criminal justice reform in America’s inner cities.
25. He has worked with charity organizations such as the United Way and After-School All-Stars to help underserved communities in Los Angeles, California.
26. Lamar was honored at Harvard University for his contribution to the music industry and is the first rapper ever to receive this honor from Harvard.
27. The rapper featured on a special edition Vogue magazine spread in 2018 and held an exclusive listening party at New York’s Webster Hall that same year.
28. Lamar was also included in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017 list alongside other influential figures like Adele and Donald Trump.
29. In 2019 he created an audio tour for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., called the “American Now” tour, which explores African-American culture and history through sound.
30. Lamar has been on a world tour since 2015 and is currently planning for another one this 2021. He continues to produce music and perform live shows that are often sold out due to his massive fan base and popularity worldwide. His influence as an artist has only grown throughout the years, solidifying him as one of the most influential rappers of all time. In 2021, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Music. It was awarded to him for his album “DAMN” which includes numerous socially conscious and thought-provoking messages that have resonated with millions of people around the world. His work continues to captivate audiences across generations and remains an inspiration for many aspiring rappers today. Lamar’s legacy is sure to live on in the music industry for years to come.