Kendrick Lamar was born Kendrick Lamar Duckworth in Compton, California. He was named after Motown singer Eddie Kendricks, who co-founded The Temptations.
Lamar was a straight-A student in school who impressed his teachers with his mature vocabulary, but for a while he struggled with a speech impediment. "As a kid, I used to stutter," he told The New York Times. "I think that’s why I put my energy into making music. That's how I get my thoughts out, instead of being crazy all the time."
Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012), his second studio album and major label debut, was considered an instant classic, and the rapper was credited for bringing authentic hip-hop back to a genre that was distracted by constant feuds and glamorized gang violence.
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