Kendrick Lamar is arguably the most influential hip-hop artist of the past 10 years. He’s a throwback in the sense that he doesn’t utilize social media frequently, and the importance that he puts in to each project he releases.
“I just come from that era,” Lamar says, citing landmark 1990s LPs like DMX’s “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot,” Tupac’s “Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” and the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Life After Death” as touchstones. “I don’t look at these albums like just music; it sounds like an actual film. To me, you need a big, grand production when you listen to these songs. You don’t necessarily just hear the music — you see it. You hear the stories; you hear the interludes; you hear the hooks and how different things intertwine.”
After the success of his mixtape Section 80, he and TDE signed a deal with Dr. Dre’s Interscope affiliate Aftermathrecords. His first release as part of that deal, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City,” went platinum and was nominated for a Grammy for album of the year.
He followed it up with “To Pimp a Butterfly”, and the “DAMN”, each album receiving major accolades in their own right with hits like “Alright” and “Humble”.
“I feel my greatest knack is for taking cohesive ideas and putting them on wax. So it starts with my thoughts.” – Kendrick Lamar for Variety
Kendrick Lamar is carrying the torch for hip-hop, finding the perfect balance between consciousness and popularity, which is equally impressive when this goes against the trend of where hip-hop is today, but also contributes to the success he has garnered in the last 8 years, and lets not forget his verse on “Control”, which put hip-hop in a frenzy for a week straight.
What is your favorite Kendrick Lamar song of all time?
The Life & Times Of Kendrick Lamar (Photo Gallery)
1. 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals1 of 20
2. Rihanna’s 3rd Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street – Inside2 of 20
3. Wireless Festival 2013 – Day 2 – London3 of 20
4. Kendrick Lamar – iTunes Festival – London4 of 20
5. 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit5 of 20
6. Kendrick Lamar Performs During Half Time For The 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game6 of 20
7. 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show7 of 20
8. The 60th Annual Grammy Awards8 of 20
9. The BRIT Awards 2018 – Show9 of 20
10. The 58th GRAMMY Awards – Red Carpet10 of 20
11. 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Red Carpet11 of 20
12. 2015 Hot 97 Summer Jam12 of 20
13. 2015 BET Awards – Red Carpet13 of 20
14. 2012 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival – Day 814 of 20
15. BET Hip Hop Awards 2013 – Red Carpet15 of 20
16. Kendrick Lamar16 of 20
17. Kendrick Lamar Joins The Weeknd During The ‘Legends of The Fall Tour’ At The Forum17 of 20
18. 2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Day 418 of 20
19. 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Roaming Show19 of 20
20. 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Roaming Show20 of 20
Black Music Month: Kendrick Lamar Carries The Torch was originally published on hot1079philly.com