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Kendrick Lamar. AKA, K.Dot, Kung Fu Kenny, Duckworth or King Kendrick. By any name he’s known to be the leading MC of this generation and a creative force of nature across the music world.
From massive feature verses with mainstream pop stars to jazz inspired freestyles on national TV – Kendrick has defined the landscape of hip hop for the better part of a decade.
This is why he’s our icon.
Straight outta Compton, circa 2004, a conscious mofo named Kendrick Lamar started dropping mix tapes. But not many people were listening out for another 16 year old kid tryin’ to make it in the rap game. They should have been.
K.Dot really started to make waves around 2011. He and his Black Hippy crew caught the ear of the infamous Dr Dre who had a hand in huge hand in guiding and producing his first two albums, Section 80 and good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Kendrick used a feature slot on Control, a cast off J. Cole single, to ether his entire generation of rappers. No subliminal messages here, Lamar was calling out his peers by name at the same time as he crushed bars with next level lyrical gymnastics. It was bold, it was controversial and it made him untouchable.
Since then Kendrick has released two more challenging and adventurous records, dipping into avant-garde jazz production and heavy album concepts to greater and greater success. He snatched the crown and no one is close to taking it from him.
good kid m.A.A.d city (2012)
Compton gangsta rap was never meant to rise again, but no one told Kendrick and Dre that.
Overseen by the Doc’s woozy synth production and an army of young and hungry beat makers like Hit Boy, Kendrick weaves a story covering all the trials of a life in Compton brings over the space of one night.
Kendrick is at once hilarious, aggressive and pensive as he uses bar after bar to paint an honest portrait of his upbringing without sacrificing his ear for great hooks and choruses. Hell, we’ll go as far to say that Swimming Pools is the greatest party song about not drinking ever.
TOP TRACKS: Swimming Pools, Backseat Freestyle, Money Trees, M.A.A.D. City
He may be from sunny California, but Kung Fu Kenny knows his layers. His tonal game is always on point - peep the silver bomber back with grey marl fleece and faded black jeans – Kendrick uses similar but not-quite-the-same colouways to own the utilitarian street look.
Not to mention he’s never without a fresh pair of Reeboks. Are a new pair of Club Cs calling your name?
You’ve gotta be feelin’ the boss vibes now. Hit the links and set your own iconic style.