When Kendrick Lamar released his fourth studio album, DAMN, on April 14th 2017, he had no idea that it would be the pinnacle of his career- to date. The Grammy-winning album not only went platinum within three months of its release but also topped the Billboard 200 Chart and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in January 2018. Just a few weeks later Kendrick won five awards at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History


Lamar was born in 1987, the same year his family moved from Chicago to Compton, California. Growing up on the rough streets of Compton and a month shy of his 17th birthday, Lamar released his first mixtape under the moniker K-Dot. From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History

From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History
From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History


Kendrick Lamar, who first rose to prominence as a rapper in the late 2000s, is now one of the most celebrated and successful artists in popular music. Born in Compton, California, and raised in the gang-infested streets around it during the 1990s, he was introduced early on to both rapping and gang culture.


Kendrick Lamar’s mother, Paula Oliver, was a teacher. His father, Kenny Duckworth, was an out of work Jazz musician. Together they did their best to provide for their son and his siblings. They weren’t always the richest of families but they managed.


In December 2017, he released his fourth studio album and first major-label project, DAMN. The following April, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his album DAMN. The album’s songs are unified by a heavy emphasis on jazz and funk influences, alongside lyrics that encompass complex feelings of regret, guilt, anger and hopelessness.

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Physical info

Early life and education

Kendrick was born in Compton, California. His father, Ducky, was a former gang member who died from colon cancer when Kendrick was 17 years old. His mom Shyannne has since remarried. From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History


At the age of 16, he had a meeting with American rapper Dr. Dre at Interscope Records and was subsequently signed as the first male artist on Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment label, appearing on various late 1990s and early 2000s rap records such as The Firm’s Firm Biz and Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez on Me.  He is one of four key artists (together with Eminem, Dr.


Kendrick has won many accolades, including four Grammy Awards. In early 2018, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 album DAMN. Lamar’s work is characterized by its thematic content of poverty, racism and other social issues affecting African Americans in urban communities.

He began his career as a ghostwriter, but achieved little success until he signed with Aftermath and Interscope Records in 2008.

From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History
From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History

Net worth

Kendrick Lamar is arguably one of the most influential rappers of his generation. His first album was good kid, m.A.A.d city which made him a household name as a rapper and eventually led to Grammy awards in 2013 and 2016 respectively. His second album was To Pimp A Butterfly which solidified his status as an artist who can’t be ignored and in 2017 he got the prestigious honour of being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

first girlfriend

In an interview with the influential site HipHopDX, the rapper speaks candidly about his first girlfriend. She was that one special one and I knew she would always be there for me, he recalled. But then when I was 13, my mama said it’s time for you and your brother to go live with your father so we can have a fresh start.

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first success

By 2011, Kendrick had established himself as a viable hip hop artist with his first studio album, Section.80, and was subsequently awarded from the BET Hip Hop Awards for Best New Artist and Best Mixtape. His second studio album, Good Kid m.A.A.d City (2012), which he recorded at multiple recording studios in California including The Pyramid Recording Studio in Hollywood. It debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and it won many awards

clothing and food

Lamar’s personal style has earned him many mentions in the media; he is consistently ranked as one of the best dressed men in each year’s Best Dressed Men list. In 2012, Lamar received global recognition and critical acclaim after releasing his album good kid, m.A.A.d city, a major mainstream breakthrough for hip hop music, which was followed by an extensive North American tour with fellow rapper Drake and with Beyoncé as opening act.

time that will always be remembered

In April of 2017, Lamar made history when he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his work on DAMN.. The first time a non-classical or jazz artist has ever been awarded the honor. A testament to what this world has seen from him in just a short amount of time.

Who Is Kendrick Lamar?

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, better known by his stage name Kendrick Lamar, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He was born in Compton, California. His fourth album Damn is the first non-classical or jazz work to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music. He has also been awarded a plethora of other accolades, including seven Grammy Awards (three of which are for Best Rap Album), two Emmy Awards and two NAACP Image Awards.

From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History
From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History

The Story Behind DAMN

In April 2016, Beyoncé created a multimedia album which was instantly considered one of the most ground-breaking projects in recent memory. This project immediately raised the bar for all other artists. A few months later, on the night of September 16th, TDE dropped what became one of the most talked about albums of the year with Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

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Making History with DAMN

Kendrick, born in 1987, grew up in Compton, a rough and poverty stricken area. Growing up in that environment shaped him as an artist. One day he found out he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for DAMN and became the first person ever to win that prestigious award for a nonfiction work on a social issue.

What Happened Next

On April 14, 2018, Kendrick Lamar announced the release of his fourth studio album and first since 2016’s untitled unmastered. The fourteen-track album, titled DAMN., released on April 14 with no prior singles. Upon its release, DAMN. became Kendrick Lamar’s highest charting album in either Billboard 200 or the UK Albums Chart. The album received universal acclaim from critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 (marking a number one debut for a rap artist). In addition to releasing DAMN., Kendrick also announced a world tour in support of the project which will see him visiting Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania through until December 16th.

From Compton to Pulitzer- How Kendrick Lamar Made History

The Future of Hip Hop

You don’t have to be a hardcore rap fan to know that Kendrick Lamar is one of the most influential figures in contemporary rap. In 2009, the 20 year old emcee released his debut album Section.80 on an independent label and then reached a distribution deal with Top Dawg Entertainment the following year. This album cemented him as an artist who was able to articulate inner city life in detail while offering empathy and critical insight into his environment.


Kendrick has achieved a lot for someone who just released his debut album in 2004. His records helped make gangsta rap into an art form again, after it seemed to disappear during the 1980s and 1990s. Where do you see yourself in five years? I want to be remembered as one of the greatest storytellers of all time.

By Bio Life Story Team

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