This week’s feature for Music Monday is an up-and-coming rapper by the name of Kendrick Lamar. You may recognize him from flyers plastered all over campus or his recent single Swimming Pools, a catchy yet cautionary tale about alcoholism and binge drinking in young adults.
Lamar is originally from the notoriously rough streets of Compton, California, home of West Coast rappers and seasoned veterans like 2Pac and Snoop Dogg; he takes much of his inspiration from their lyrics and their shared upbringing. Lamar began his rap career at the age of 16 in 2003 with his first mixtape. It has since been followed my several other mixtapes, an EP, and his current studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city.
While many of his contemporaries are gaining fans with electronic/dance beats, Kendrick’s style is closer to traditional rap with an emphasis on lyricism and metaphor. Many of the songs on his earlier mixtapes feature lyrics filled with intricate wordplay and border on spoken word poetry. This dedication to lyrical content instead of mass appeal has won him the adoration of old-school hip-hop fans and musicians alike. Lamar has received praise from rappers The Game and Snoop Dogg and been dubbed the unofficial representative of modern West Coast rap.
Recently, Lamar headlined a concert in Tampa at the Ritz Ybor alongside an entourage of like-minded artists including Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q. Be on the lookout for this hip-hop underdog who is slowly but surely taking the rap game by storm! For more information concerning his music, appearances, and tour dates, you can visit his website or Facebook page.