In some ways it’s hard to believe the things that rappers like Kendrick Lamar say since they tend to speak one way and then eventually turn the other way and say the opposite. It’s easy to believe that he’s a decent person just trying to be the best he can but sometimes it almost seems as though he’s a man that bases things on convenience, such as his stance on voting. He’s a very talented rapper and someone that seems to care a lot about his community but one little line of doubt is all it takes sometimes for anyone and everyone to jump on the same train and start denouncing a person when it comes to virtually anything. With Kendrick Lamar however it does seem as though he’s kept his life on the straight and narrow as much as possible and has ridden that decency all the way to where he is now.
Here are a few things you might not have known about him.
10. He originally went by the stage name of K-Dot.
Kendrick was about 16 when he turned in his first mixtape and he was going by a different stage name at that point. It’s safe to say that a lot of people will go through at least a couple of different names before they get to the one they like when it comes to music.
9. So far in his career he’s earned a rather good number of awards.
You can knock the guy’s music all you want but his record speaks for itself since he’s won no less than 12 Grammy’s as well as several other awards of note that have helped to define his career and show the kind of commitment that he has to his craft and his community.
8. His father was a member of a street gang.
Kendrick’s father was a member of the Gangster Disciples. It had to have been kind of hard growing up knowing your father was in a gang and that he had a reputation around town, but somehow Kendrick remained apart from that life and was obviously the better for it.
7. Kendrick lived in welfare housing and was very poor growing up.
This is a big part of what fueled his desire to speak out and make it known just what he’d gone through and the frustrations it caused. The kind of pain and struggle that goes on when you have little is a great way to tell a story even if it’s kind of a hard life to make it through.
6. Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre were two of the biggest influences in his life.
Considering that his music was a part of Aftermath Records at one point you might find it accurate to say that Dr. Dre had a humongous influence on his career and has made it into something that he envisioned when he was younger.
5. He’s faced some backlash with a couple of his songs.
Like any musician there are things he’s said in a couple of his songs that have rubbed people the wrong way and he’s had to explain and defend them a time or two in order to let people know that there was no harm meant by the lyrics, but instead a message to be conveyed.
4. Kendrick has decided to feud with a couple of rappers in his time.
Drake and Big Sean are two of the foremost that he’s feuded with, but whether the feuds are real or used as something to sell more albums is hard to say since in the music industry it can be just as manipulative and cutthroat as it can be in acting. What’s real is the way that each person is laying it down, but what could be fabricated is the feud that kicked it all off in the first place.
3. After the death of a friend he became a devout Christian.
A lot of people go through this when they lose someone, but losing a friend that still had a lot of life left to live could change someone in a very profound way. It’s hard to imagine what it might be like to lose someone in any manner that seemed so alive and vibrant one moment and was gone the next. A lot of people turn to faith at that point, as it’s better than depression.
2. He initially said he wasn’t going to vote since he didn’t believe in it.
This is where some of the doubt about his character comes in since he was vehement about not voting as he didn’t believe in it and didn’t believe that it did any good. But when it came down to one of the last elections he went with Barack Obama since he claimed that Mitt Romney didn’t have a good heart. True or not, that kind of 180 behavior seems sound enough to some and kind of suspect to others.
1. He’s a big believer in giving back to his community.
One thing you can’t argue is that Kendrick does like to take care of the place he came from. He has a lot of pride in his home and enjoys seeing people that came from the same place do well.
Like him or not he’s a star and he’s earned his spot.