Inspired by DMX’s debut album, Kendrick Lamar began writing rhymes when he was 13. In the summer of 2002, Lamar turned 16 and stepped into a recording booth for the first time. A year later, he created his first collection of songs and set out to get the project in the hands of Top Dawg Entertainment CEO, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. Little did he know, Top Dawg already had the CD and was looking for him as well. When they did find each other, Top Dawg put Lamar to a two-hour freestyle test. He passed with flying colors and was signed immediately.
Initially known as K.Dot, the young rapper released two more mixtapes - Training Day and C4 - before he decided to take a different approach to his music. His first step was to start over and use his real name as his moniker. He then released the Kendrick Lamar EP in 2009, which featured his trademark singles “P&P” and “She Needs Me.” In 2010, he followed up with Overly Dedicated, powered by the singles “Michael Jordan” and “Cut You Off.” In no time, he came to be regarded as Hip Hop’s new, favorite rising rapper.
Receiving co-signs from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Lamar’s profile has continued to soar. His developing fame in the music industry landed him a coveted spot on XXL magazine’s 2011 Freshmen cover. Lamar is currently performing in cities and festivals all over the country.