Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), simply known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American rapper from Compton, California. Initially signed to independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, in 2012 Lamar and the label signed a joint venture deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop supergroup, Black Hippy, along with fellow California-based rappers and label-mates Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.
He first gained major attention after the release of his fourth mixtape Overly Dedicated, in 2010. The next year, he released his first independent album to critical acclaim, Section.80 (2011), released exclusively through iTunes and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. Early in his career, before releasing his major label debut, Lamar amassed a large internet following, and had already worked with Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among other popular artists.
His major label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012 to widespread acclaim. The album spawned the Top 40 hits "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", and "Poetic Justice". The album was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 Hottest MC in the Game, on their well known annual list.