Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer who grew up in Compton and is widely revered as one of the most skilled hip hop artists of all time.
Lamar released his first major label album via Interscope Records in 2012. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts. Kendrick's critically acclaimed third album, To Pimp A Butterfly, was produced by Dr. Dre and incorporated elements of funk, soul and jazz into a distinctly modern rap context.
In 2017, Lamar released his fourth studio album Damn, which became the first non-classic and non-jazz album to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2017.
Aside from his lyrical prowess and his unique style of delivery, Kendrick Lamar has been lauded for genre-bending approach to his albums. For instance, the production of To Pimp A Butterfly features a kaleidoscopic range of musical influences, all of which are loosely based on the sound of the West Coast.
The G-Funk synth tones of Dr Dre and Dâm Funk are referenced throughout, as well as the chaotically improvised and intricate jazz inflections of Thundercat and Flying Lotus.
It all serves as an intoxicating backdrop to Lamar's poetry. More than any other contemporary high-profile artist, his oeuvre embodies musical freedom.