The name may not be brimming with star power, but the man to whom it belongs more than certainly is. Ask any head who’s up on game in the Los Angeles music scene, and they will know the name Kendrick Lamar and more importantly, his music.
Off the strength of his self-entitled EP released earlier this year, the Compton MC is slowly but surely gaining the type of buzz on the Internet he so rightly deserves. Once he let go of his former rap acronym, K.Dot, and decided to use the name he was born with instead, Kendrick’s music started becoming appreciated by an audience who was much like him: A young black man from the streets (Compton, to be exact), but not necessarily of the streets; a rapper who’s as likely to write raps for incarcerated family members (‘Jason Keaton and Uncle Bobby’) as he is celebrity crushes (‘Beyonce’).
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With songs like ‘Is It Love’ (an excellent remix of singer Angela McCluskey’s ‘Don’t Look Back) and ‘Determined’, Kendrick raps about the importance of carving out his own identity amidst the pressure of succumbing to a convoluted image not just within the image-first music business culture, but also the street life where image too plays into a person’s perception. In other words, Kendrick only wants to be a rapper reflecting who he is, and the streets make up one part of it, but an MC trying to blow up is another part.
Signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, and co-signed by Jay Rock — a member of XXL’s Freshmen ’10 class — Kendrick has a solid team around him to make all his music aspirations come true without sacrificing the kind of MC he is. When he releases his new mixtape, O.D. (Overly Dedicated), on Wednesday, September 17, he’ll be one step closer. O.D. from what we have heard, is more of Kendrick being Kendrick, which means it’s sure to be an all around great effort.
Check out some of our favorite songs and videos from Kendrick Lamar, than be on the look out for O.D. It’s sure to be, above all things, an honest piece of work.
Cover art for Kendrick Lamar’s first EP
At the top of 2010, Kendrick Lamar dropped his self-entitled EP, which was hailed by many rap bloggers as one of the best projects in the early part of the year.
Here are a couple of visuals to accompany stand out tracks from the effort.
‘She Needs Me/I Am’ from Kendrik Lamar EP
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‘Jason Keaton & Uncle Bobby’ from Kendrick Lamar EP