Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Kendrick Lamar is gearing up for another leg of his impressive The Big Steppers Tour. The tour supports his latest No. 1 album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers released last year. Lamar was born on June 17, 1987, in Compton, California. Kendrick is mainly known for his progressive musical styles and socially conscious lyrics. Further, he is widely considered one of his generation’s most influential hip-hop artists. Lamar started his mainstream music career after signing with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in 2005.
The Compton artist’s career has skyrocketed since then. Lamar has sold over 70 million records in the United States alone. Additionally, all his studio albums have been certified platinum or higher by the RIAA. He topped the Billboard charts for the first time after being featured on the remix of “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift. Kendrick has also received numerous accolades throughout his career. They include 17 Grammy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and two American Music Awards. Lamar has also bagged six Billboard Music Awards, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a nomination for an Academy Award. These are some of the emcee’s best songs from his discography.
“N95” is the lead single from his fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. The album is Kendrick Lamar’s first since parting ways with Top Dawg Entertainment. ‘N95” is a seething cultural critique where Lamar spits bile in multiple directions over a bleakly catchy, bass-driven instrumental. With a visual that opens with Lamar hovering about the ocean with arms stretched wide in a crucifixion-like pose, Lamar certainly turned heads with this one.
“Family Ties” – Baby Keem ft. Kendrick Lamar (2021)
“Family Ties” was released on August 27, 2021, by Columbia Records and pgLang. The song is the fourth single from Keem’s debut album, The Melodic Blue. “Family Ties” is also Lamar’s first musical release under pgLang, a production company he co-founded in March 2020. Lamar signed Baby Keem under the collective. He is also Kendrick’s cousin, hence the song title. “Family Ties” won Best Rap Performance at the 2022 Grammy Awards. It has officially been certified three times Platinum by the RIAA.
“All The Stars” – Kendrick Lamar & SZA (2018)
“All the Stars” was released on January 4, 2018, as the lead single to the soundtrack album of the film Black Panther. It was co-written by Lamar and former label-mate SZA. Sounwave and Al Shux also produced the song. Ryan Coogler, the Black Panther director, hand-picked Lamar to produce the soundtrack.
Moreover, “All The Stars” received numerous accolades and nominations, including Best Original Song at the 76th Golden Globe and 91sAcademy Awards. It additionally received four nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. “All The Stars” won Best Song at the African-American Film Critics Association. The video additionally won Best Visual Effects at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. Since its release, the song has sold two million copies in the United States.
“LOVE” is a song from Lamar’s fourth studio album, DAMN. Lamar also co-wrote the song with collaborators Zacari Pacaldo and Teddy Walton. Sounwave and Top Dawg CEO Anthony Tiffith are credited for production. Lamar’s fans have often speculated that the song’s lyrics describe his love and devotion to his fiancée and mother of his children, Whitney Alford. Further, “LOVE” spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently certified four times Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE” was released on March 30, 2017. The song was the lead single from Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning album, DAMN. “Humble” also topped the Billboard Singles chart and became Kendrick’s second No. 1 song after “Bad Blood” remix with Taylor Swift. The song won Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video at the 60th Grammy Awards. Mike Will Made-It produced the song. He initially created the beat for Gucci Mane. Additionally, the RIAA has certified ” HUMBLE ” seven times Platinum.
The song “Alright” is a fan favorite in Lamar’s discography thanks to its messages of hope amid struggle. It was released as To Pimp a Butterfly’s fourth radio single on June 30, 2015. Pharrell Williams is also credited for the production of the record. The song was primarily associated with the Black Lives Matter movement after several youth-led protests were heard chanting the chorus. It was officially dubbed the Black Lives Matter soundtrack because of this. Additionally, “Alright” received numerous accolades, including four nominations at the 58th Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song. It won the latter two. The song has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
“King Kunta” (2015)
“King Kunta” is a single from Kendrick Lamar’s third album, To Pimp a Butterfly. It was released as the album’s third single on March 24, 2015. Lamar also co-wrote the song with producer Thundercat. Terrace Martin, Michael Kuhle, and Sounwave served as producers. The song’s title references the rebellious enslaved man Kunta Kinte from the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. “King Kunta” has been certified Platinum by the RIAA in the United States.
“Control” – Big Sean ft. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica (2013)
“Control” is a song by Detroit emcee Big Sean. It features guest vocals from Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica. Lamar’s verse was labeled as a “wake-up call” for hip-hop, both for his skill as a rapper and for calling out multiple fellow rappers by name. The song was initially intended to be included in Big Sean’s second studio album Hall of Fame. However, this was ultimately hindered by sample clearances.
“Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” (2012)
“Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is one of the lead singles from Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City album. Sounwave is once again credited for production. Lamar was also reportedly initially meant to collaborate with pop star Lady Gaga on the song. However, delays in submission eventually led to her part being left out. The song’s version with Lady Gaga vocals was added to later editions of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. Jay-Z is also featured on the official remix of the song.
“Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is generally considered the song that thrust Kendrick into the limelight. The record peaked at No. 32 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached the Top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts. The RIAA has certified “Don’t Kill My Vibe” four times Platinum.