Kendrick Lamar: Where It All Began
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Kendrick Lamar, Black Hippy Ink Deals With Interscope And Aftermath
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California rapper Kendrick Lamar is readying the album he considers his debut, and his first release on new home labels Interscope/Aftermath. He Tweeted last night: "Let me personally announce the album date and 'CORRECT' title. Then its official." The record is called good kid, m.A.A.d. city, and it's out on October 2.
"Goin' crazy in your head is wanting to say so much, but you can't. I think it comes from my struggling relationship with God — my whole life, I go to sleep every night and just think about God," he says, faltering for a moment. "Is that a trip? That's me trying to find myself in a relationship with Him. Righteous, but at the same time being so [caught up] in the vanities of the world ... it messes me up inside."
Lamar is willing to wear his flaws on his sleeve, though and expects that this candor will pay off in the long run. “The best thing is to let people know that you a human just like them,” he says. “I think that’s why a lot of motherfuckers fuck with me because the shit I put out on my music is me not knowing everything. It’s me trying to figure out the world just like you.”
A cautious optimist, he speaks at length about matters like caring for the children of his incarcerated friends and how his ultimate goal is to make enough money to bring community centers back to Compton. He speaks with a blind earnestness that’s both naive and charming.... And, unlike so many so-called conscious rappers before him, Lamar proved unafraid to leave some questions unanswered. It’s been some time since this type of positive leaning, socially aware rap has been central to the hip-hop conversation.
Despite not having an official album out, Kendrick Lamar has built a reputation within the hip-hop culture and beyond as one of the game's most gifted lyricists. While the world is impatiently waiting for his official solo debut offering Good Kid In A Mad City, the Compton native served "The Recipe," which catapulted to the status of Los Angeles's new unofficial anthem featuring none other than Dr. Dre himself.
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Born and bred in the heart of Compton, his relationship with gang culture is a little more complex than the binary line his fellow Hippies sit on. Lamar’s father was a member of Chicago’s infamous Gangster Disciples. When, prior to his birth, his family moved to LA, they failed to leave the street mentality behind. “My uncles and all my cousins was doing it on a daily basis—shootouts, running in my momma house, trying to hide somewhere, selling dope,” Lamar remembers. “So for a while I thought that was how it was supposed to be, until I ventured out into other spaces and people didn’t know about what was going on where I was from.”
Kendrick Lamar 'HiiiPOWER' OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
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Just following his appearance at last weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival, Kendrick Lamar has announced a fall tour in conjunction with BET Music Matters. Fellow Black Hippy members Ab-Soul and Jay Rock open.
Despite not seeing a physical release, Kendrick’s Section.80 album landed in Billboard magazine’s Top 25 digital albums chart; it also placed on the Billboard 200 top-selling albums list.