Kendrick Lamar was born Kendrick Lamar Duckworth in Compton, California. He was named after Motown singer Eddie Kendricks, who co-founded The Temptations.
Lamar was a straight-A student in school who impressed his teachers with his mature vocabulary, but for a while he struggled with a speech impediment. "As a kid, I used to stutter," he told The New York Times. "I think that’s why I put my energy into making music. That's how I get my thoughts out, instead of being crazy all the time."
Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012), his second studio album and major label debut, was considered an instant classic, and the rapper was credited for bringing authentic hip-hop back to a genre that was distracted by constant feuds and glamorized gang violence.
Lamar occasionally goes by the name K-Dot, a throwback to his pre-famous rap beginnings.
Two jazz songwriters, Eric Reed and Willie Jones III, sued Lamar in 2014 for allegedly stealing the music for their song "The Thorn," and spinning it into his own hit "Rigamortis."
At eight years old in 1995, Lamar watched Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre film the original video for "California Love
" in Compton. Years later, Dre would become his mentor.
Another connection with Dre is Lamar and the good doctor both attended the same high school: Compton's Centennial High School.
Lamar's rider includes some Polo socks. His grandma used to tell him, "You ain't got to take a shower for four days, but put some fresh socks on and you'll feel better about yourself."
Kendrick Lamar announced his engagement to longtime girlfriend Whitney Alford on April 3, 2015 during an interview with power 105.1's The Breakfast Club. Alford and Lamar are high school sweethearts. K-Dot said : "I'm loyal to the soil. At the end of the day you want to always have real people around you, period - whether male or female."
Kendrick Lamar partnered with health food company Sweetgreen in 2015 to create a new salad called "Beets Don't Kale My Vibe." Lamar has another vegetable connection: He co-wrote Schoolboy Q's "Collard Greens
" in 2013.
According to a 2015 Guardian interview, Kendrick Lamar's favorite food is Fruity Pebbles cereal.
His 2017 album DAMN. lost the Album of the Year Grammy to Bruno Mars, but it won the Pulitzer Prize for music, which had gone to a classical or jazz artist every year since it was first issued in 1943. The committee issued a typically erudite explanation, calling the album "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life."