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Kendrick Lamar is the perfect example of the “flower that bloomed in a dark room.”

From a city like Compton to one of the leaders of the new school in hip-hop, Kendrick’s rise to fame happened rather quickly after the release of his debut album good kid m.A.A.d. city.

Since the album’s release, he’s been crowned King of the West Coast by legends, toured around the world, collaborated on various songs from the widest genres of music, and is now working on his highly anticipated sophomore album.

Here are a few of Kendrick Lamar’s greatest moments following the release of the acclaimed GKMC.

1. Tour

Since the album released, Kendrick has been touring all over the world. He’s been from country to country on the “good kid m.A.A.d. city” tour, performed at various music festivals, and made guest appearances at many shows. Doing non-stop concerts has not only strengthened his performance skills, but also provided exposure for him as a rapper. The energy is crazy at a Kendrick Lamar show.

2. Jay Z’s surprise verse on B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe (Remix)

The CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, surprised Kendrick by playing Jay Z’s additional verse to one of his biggest singles, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” At the end of the surprise, Kendrick’s labelmate Ab-Soul said, “They really let us in the rap game, I can’t believe this.” This simple verse proved the respect Kendrick was gaining in the hip-hop industry.

3. “Control” Verse

Last summer, Big Sean released a song that was originally going to be on his album at the time, Hall of Fame. However, due to sampling issues, it was unable to make the tracklist. Instead of holding onto the track, Big Sean decided to release it; and Kendrick Lamar’s verse became the most talked about on all forms of social media. This was the verse that put K.Dot on the map for the whole world.

And because of this line:

“And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller. I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas. Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas.”

#KendrickLamarsVerse was trending all over Twitter, and Instagram was flooded with memes of how Kendrick Lamar “murdered” the rap game. Every rapper, mentioned or not, felt the need to respond.

4. Seven Grammy Nominations & Collaboration with Imagine Dragons

When Grammy nominations were announced, Kendrick Lamar was honored with seven nominations for his debut album. This album allowed Kendrick to be nominated for categories like: Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and the most prestigious, Album of the Year. This kind of recognition for a new artist’s debut album was absolutely remarkable.

On top of receiving all these nominations, Kendrick did a collaboration with rock band Imagine Dragons to create “Radioactive m.A.A.d. city,” which was the highest energy performance throughout the whole award show.

5. BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher

During the BET Awards, there were rumors that Drake and Kendrick had some slight beef. Press assumed there were subliminal rhymes attacking each other on some of their tracks, such as Drake’s “The Language.” When Kendrick joined the TDE Cypher for the BET Awards, his verse had the whole hip-hop community shocked. Everyone wondered if he was referring to Drake with the line:

“Nothing been the same since they dropped Control and tucked the sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.”

Until this day, we’ll never know if it was directed towards Drake, but Kendrick once again had Twitter and Instagram rumbling with memes and trending hashtags.

6. When good kid m.A.A.d. city went platinum.

In August of 2013, Kendrick Lamar’s album good kid m.A.A.d. city officially went platinum, selling 1 million copies. Kendrick Lamar’s success was ultimately proven when his album hit this level. We can now properly title him King Kendrick.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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