Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Known as "King Kendrick", he is widely regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. Throughout his career, Lamar has garnered critical acclaim for his signature cadences, artistic reinventions, and introspective songwriting. His works, which regularly infuses social, political, religious, and philosophical influences, became a catalyst in the rise of consciousness amongst Millennials. Lamar developed an interest in music and songwriting from a young age. He began releasing music as a teenager under the stage name K.Dot and signed with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in 2005. After retiring his stage name, he gained mainstream attention through the release of his final mixtape, Overly Dedicated (2010). His alt-rap debut studio album, Section.80 (2011), helped him secure a joint deal with Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012), Lamar's breakthrough sophomore album, explored gangsta rap and spawned the successful singles "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Poetic Justice", and "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe". It has spent over ten consecutive years on the Billboard 200–the longest run in history for a hip hop studio album–and was deemed the greatest concept album ever by Rolling Stone. Inspired by a visit to South Africa, Lamar embraced jazz and G-funk on his third album, To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). It became his first of four consecutive number-one projects in the U.S., and is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 2010s decade. His collaboration with Taylor Swift on the remix of "Bad Blood" garnered his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Lamar's critical and commercial success continued with his fourth album Damn (2017); which experimented with R&B, pop, and psychedelic soul. Yielding his second chart-topping single "Humble", the album is the first musical composition outside of the classical and jazz genres to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Lamar received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack (2018). Following a hiatus, he concluded his tenure with TDE via his double album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (2022); which was supported by the top-ten singles "N95", "Silent Hill", and "Die Hard". He has also co-directed music videos and runs the entertainment company PGLang with his creative partner, Dave Free. Heralded as a generational icon by the California State Senate, Lamar was named the second-greatest rapper of all time by Billboard and Vibe in 2023. He is one of the most-streamed rappers on Spotify, with all of his albums surpassing 1 billion streams each. Among his accolades are 17 Grammy Awards, including three Best Rap Album wins, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Brit Award, four American Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, 11 MTV Video Music Awards and 25 BET Hip Hop Awards, the most for an artist. Lamar was named MTV's Hottest MC in the Game in 2012, and has been featured in listicles such as the Time 100 and Forbes 30 Under 30. Three of his albums were included in Rolling Stone's 2020 revision of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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