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Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Kendrick Lamar

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Q.V. Hough He’s become a cultural icon, and his story continues to captivate the world. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Kendrick Lamar. For this list, we’re focusing on the most interesting facts that we could find about Compton’s own K.Dot… aka Kung Fu Kenny…aka Kendrick Lamar. Special thanks to our users EmJay and envy shady for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Kendrick Lamar


He’s become a cultural icon, and his story continues to captivate the world. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Kendrick Lamar.
For this list, we’re focusing on the most interesting facts that we could find about Compton’s own K.Dot… aka Kung Fu Kenny…aka Kendrick Lamar.

#5: He's Good Friends with Don Cheadle


In 2017, Kendrick released the “DNA” music video featuring his long-time pal, Don Cheadle. They initially bonded over creative interests years ago, and Kendrick actually based his “Kung Fu Kenny” persona on Cheadle’s character from the 2001 film “Rush Hour 2”. Over the years, they’ve been looking for the right project to collaborate on. So, when Kendrick began pre-production on “D.N.A.”, he asked Cheadle if he could memorize a new verse but didn’t provide any context for the video. The result was an improvised interrogation scene, further building their friendship while creating a classic pop culture moment.

#4: He Recorded His First Mixtape at Age 16


In 2004, Kendrick Lamar went by the name “K-Dot,” a moniker that he would later drop as he found his own style. He was young, but even then, his talent, passion and creativity were on full display. In fact, Kendrick’s lyrical gymnastics caught the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment –an independent record label founded in California. The mixtape, “Y.H.N.I.C.,” surfaced online in 2013, and while it features the usual Kendrick grit, it’s clear that Kenny polished his tone and delivery over the years. It’s the production that ignited Kendrick Lamar’s career, allowing for more exposure and opportunities for the Compton teenager.

#3: His Cousin is an NBA Star

K.Dot released his first studio album , his cousin “Swaggy P” was balling out across town. Kendrick was picking up momentum in the music industry while Nick Young was just starting to make waves in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers. While first drafted to the Washington wizards in 2007, Young went on to play for the Clippers, Lakers and ultimately got picked up by the Golden State Warriors for the 2017 season. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar reaped the rewards of his groundbreaking album “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”.

#2: He Was on Set for 2Pac’s “California Love” Music Video

One year before Tupac Shakur passed away, he filmed one his most iconic videos with Compton’s own Dr. Dre. Nearby lived an eight-year-old Kendrick Lamar, who managed to catch a glimpse of his idols at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively. The production itself marked a pivotal moment for hip-hop, and the experience profoundly affected this “good kid” living in a “mad city.” Kendrick Lamar would later collaborate with Dr. Dre and he returned to the same “California Love” location to shoot his “King Kunta” music video in 2015.

#1: He Was a Straight-A Student

In his younger days, Kendrick stayed focused on education. He earned straight As at Compton’s Centennial High – the same school attended by Dr. Dre, and it most definitely shows in his music. Over the years, Kendrick Lamar has evolved into one of the most respected artists of his time, balancing intellectual wordplay with practical stories that people can relate to. He’s been inspired by musicians from various genres, but it’s his own ability to inspire that puts him in a class all his own. With “DAMN”, Kendrick has stimulated a whole new set of conversations, all while continuing to push hip hop forward.
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