Kendrick Lamar, an award-winning rapper and songwriter, is best known for his innovative take on life in Southern California as well as for his affiliation with the rap star and super-producer Dr. Dre; but where did it all begin? What was his first song?
Kendrick Lamar’s first song was “The Recipe” which is now described as one of the rapper’s best songs by Billboard. The track peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Read more below about how Lamar rose to fame and became one of the best rappers of all time.
From K-Dot to Kendrick Lamar: Rise To Fame
In 2015, Billboard announced that Kendrick Lamar is the ninth-best rapper of all time, amongst others including Jay Z, Nas, Eminem, and Notorious B.I.G. But how did Lamar get so famous in the first place? It all started with his first album which led to the production of his 2017 album DAMN; let’s take a look at his rise to fame.
Before shooting to fame, Lamar rapped under the name K-Dot, releasing a series of increasingly popular mixtapes, which brought him to the attention of hip-hop super-producer, Dr. Dre. Shortly afterward followed Lamar’s albums which caused his music to increase in popularity.
Releasing Section.80 – His First Album
July 2, 2011, marks the remarkable release of Lamar’s first album Section.80 under the record label Top Dawg. It’s one of those albums that’s rarely spoken of because it technically wasn’t the biggest success on the charts, as it only reached 113 on Billboard 200; however, for a first album, it’s impressive that it even topped the charts at all even if it was a pretty low position.
His first album paved the way for Lamar’s third album, To Pimp a Butterfly (produced by Dr. Dre), to reach the top position on Billboard 200 upon its release four years later in 2015, selling just over a million copies in the US alone.
The album promised success as it topped the charts at number one in places including Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and Australia. On the review website Metacritic it is one of the most acclaimed albums ever with a 96% score, with Time dubbing it as one of the best albums of 2015.
As of 2020, American rapper Kendrick Lamar has released four studio albums, one compilation album, one extended play (EP), five mixtapes, 43 singles (including 30 as a featured artist), three promotional singles, and 55 music videos. But which songs are his best?
Kendrick’s Best Songs
Kendrick Lamar has become one of the most popular artists in the world. His latest album, DAMN, which was released in 2017, ended up as the seventh best selling album of 2017 with over 1.3 million units shipped globally. So what are some of his best songs?
According to Billboard, amongst Lamar’s top 20 best songs, 13 are solo songs by the rapper while seven tracks feature other artists, including Drake, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, and Rihanna. Some of his best tracks include: “HUMBLE.”, “DNA,” “LOVE.”, “King Kunta,” and “The Recipe.”
Lamar’s biggest hit is HUMBLE from his 2017 album DAMN. The track reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 in April of 2017, and it stayed there for five weeks before being surpassed.
Nine years into his career, in 2020, Lamar’s net worth stands at an astonishing $75 million, making him one highest-paid rappers on the planet who earned a substantial $60 million in 2018 (according to Celebrity Net Worth).
If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that Lamar wants his legacy to live on in the years ahead, as he said, “One thing I understood about myself and my music is it’s not really a concept that I will want you to grasp one day—I want it to live forever.”