Kendrick Lamar – Is he really the new king of the west coast?

So you ask who Kendrick Lamar is? He was born on the 17th June 1987. Being raised in Compton allowed him the advantage of being exposed to the rap game and helped him discover and develop his talent for rap. Although unique to others, he admits that he is influenced by musicians such as Nas, Luke Seck, Jay-z, DMX and Tupac Shakur.  He often compares himself to Tupac and identifies with the legend. At the age of eight he witnessed Tupac and Dr Dre recording the music video for ‘California Love’, which remains significant in shaping his mind and making him the rapper he is. Lamar claims that he has dreamed of his dead relatives for years but one night he dreamed of his idol, Tupac, who in the dream told him “Keep doing what you’re doing, keep my music alive”.

From the emergence of his first mixtape he grabbed attention that he needed; he attracted the producers of Top Dawg Entertainment and got signed to the record label. Two years later he had produced a twenty-six track mixtape, which exposed him further and got streets talking. In 2008 he co-signed with Lil Wayne, and released his third mixtape in 2009 titled ‘C4’ which was themed around the Carter III’. He then later decided to drop his stage name, K.Dot, which helped him to his acclaim to fame and restored in using his own name, which he then used to title his first EP ‘Kendrick Lamar’.  In 2010 he released the highly acclaimed mixtape titled (O) verly (D) edicated and released his third solo project in July 2011 called Section 80.

Lamar was dubbed as the ‘New King of the West Coast’ after performing on stage alongside Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and The Game. Dr Dre was eager to work with Lamar after he heard the track titled “ignorance is bliss” which is about street crime and gangsters; this led to him working alongside Dre and Snoop on Detox. Lamar is currently co-signed to Aftermath Entertainment and is working on building up the name of his protégé Slim The Mobster. Lamar has opened for rap artists such as Wale, J.cole, DMC of Run DMC, and feature’s on Drake’s latest album “Take Care as well as The Game’s album R.E.D’.

Lamar’s is not your typical rapper, he is a straight A student which shows in his highly intelligent lyrics and his knowledge of the rap game, which most people his age probably can’t or find it hard to relate to. He released his first mixtape at the age of 16, abstains from drugs and although his lyrics are about gangsters he is not affiliated to any gangs.  Lamar has a unique voice, which is husky and seems almost smoky, his lyrics are about his own life upbringings and surroundings. He’s apparently compared to Pac because they have a similar rapping style. Lamar is also a poet.

Section. 80 sold over 5000 copies in its first week of release, and he has done this without out any track making it to the radio or television. With such a positive response from the album it would seem that Kendrick Lamar is making waves in the industry and is a person to be on the lookout for. This kid is going to make it big and when he breaks onto the commercial scene everyone will want a piece of him.

Shannon Manning

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