Lamar began to gain major recognition in 2010, after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he released Section.80, his first independent album, exclusively through iTunes. The album received critical acclaim and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. The album spawned Lamar's debut single, "HiiiPoWeR". Early in his career, prior to releasing his major-label debut, Lamar had amassed a large Internet following and had already worked with several prominent artists in the music industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among others.
Lamar's major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in October 2012 to widespread acclaim. The album contained the Top 40 hits "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" and "Poetic Justice". Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and 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 annual list. Lamar also received a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014), including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song. A year later, at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015), Lamar won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his single, "i". In March 2015, Lamar released his third album, To Pimp a Butterfly, to wide acclaim. It peaked at number one in various countries, including the U.S. and the UK.
Lamar has stated that Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem are his top five favorite rappers. Tupac Shakur is his biggest influence, and has influenced not only his music, but his day-to-day lifestyle as well. In a September 2012 interview, Lamar stated Detroit-based rapper Eminem "influenced a lot of my style" and has since credited Eminem for his own aggression on records, such as "Backseat Freestyle". Lamar also gave Lil Wayne (during his Hot Boyz days) credit for influencing his style and praised his longevity. He has said that he also grew up listening to Rakim, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar mentioned Mos Def and Snoop Dogg as rappers that he listened to and took influence from during his early years. He also cites Yonkers-based rapper DMX as an influence: "[DMX] really [got me started] on music," explained Lamar in an interview with Philadelphia's Power 99. "That first album [It's Dark and Hell Is Hot] is classic, [so he had an influence on me]." In January 2013, when asked to name three rappers that have played a role in his style, Lamar said: "It's probably more of a west coast influence. A little bit of Kurupt, Pac, with some of the content of Cube.” In a November 2013 interview with GQ, when asked "The Four MC's That Made Kendrick Lamar?", he answered Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mobb Deep, namely Prodigy." ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR "KING KUNTA" by KENDRICK LAMAR (2015) // PRESS*PLAY>>