After composing stories as a kid, he set to music some lyrics in regards to the rough Compton streets he grew up on. He rapped under the name K Dot, releasing a number of increasingly popular mixtapes, which brought him to the eye of hip hop super-producer Dr. Dre. Lamar’s debut major-label record, good child, m.A.A.d City, premiered to great acclaim and impressive sales for an up and coming recording artist.
His parents had moved to Compton from Chicago to escape the city’s gang culture, although Lamar’s dad was linked to the ill-famed Gangster Disciples gang. As the 1980s crack commerce and West Coast gang existence rose, Lamar grew up around volatile road action, however he looked more affected than hurt because of it. He was an excellent pupil who loved composing, first stories and poems, and then lyrics.
Lamar’s family was directly touched by the violence of the roads, yet he remained thoughtful and soft spoken, ever the sharp observer, even as a kid. He adopted the moniker K Dot and started performing his lyrics as a rapper.
In 2010 Lamar lost the K Dot label and started using his own name, and put out a fourth mixtape, Too Dedicated. The exact same year, Lamar released his first full length independent record under Top Dawg Entertainment. Named Section.80, it was released only on iTunes. The record continued to shine a light on Lamar’s ability and identifying perspectives on the road life which he understood so good but that didn’t seem to adversely influence him (he apparently doesn’t smoke weed and contains never dealt drugs or been shot).
Dr. Dre, one of hiphop’s most revered and powerful producers, took the young artist under his wing, becoming his mentor in both music and company.
Aftermath was distributed by leading label Interscope (Universal Music), which will get the advertising, sales and distribution muscle to take Lamar’s profession to another degree. Now the quiet, observant child who made good grades in school was poised to become rap’s latest star.
In October 2012, Lamar’s highly anticipated major-label debut record, good kid, m.A.A.d city, premiered to wide acclaim. Lady Gaga recorded a tune with Lamar for the record, but nonetheless, it finally had not been included due to “creative differences.” This solidified his fan base, not only among hard-core hip-hop heads, but in addition among college students and lovers of alternative rock.
Lamar’s appeal to the masses did not cease there. The thought provoking lyrics on his debut record captured the eye of hip hop critics at the same time, with MTV naming him the “Hottest MC” of 2012—placing him in the business of other rappers who’ve earned the title, including Lil Wayne, Jay Z and Kanye West.
Moreover, critics took note of Lamar’s poetry on the song “Control,” by rapper Big Sean. Even though the track was written by another artist, Lamar’s poetry attracted attention due to his challenge to a number of other popular names in the hiphop world, including Drake, J. Cole and Big Sean himself. The daring claims in the contentious poetry rapped by Lamar brought of a vibe which was reminiscent of the timeless hip hop age, bringing admiration from critics, rappers and enthusiasts alike.
Lamar stays popular for his sharp observations of road culture, regularly analyzing the psychology of the victims of offenses. “That is the best storyline in my experience,” he told the British paper The Guardian. “At first, I used to be frightened to reveal panic since you cannot be certain how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do this, to stand out.”