Kendrick Lamar didn’t go to his first concert until he performed at his own concert. Touring with The Game and Jay Rock back in 2006, Kendrick got to experience a live rap show as he was taking the stage for the first time. “Back then, we didn’t have the money for it,” Kendrick said in an interview from three years ago. Eleven years later, in 2017, his Damn. Tour grossed over 62 million dollars. Needless to say, he’s come a long way.
Born Kendrick Duckworth Lamar on this day (June 17) 33 years ago, K-Dot’s spent the last five years or so either at the top or very close to the top of the rap game. Three of his four solo albums have been certified platinum or above, he’s received two No. 1 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and he’s arguably become the rapper with the best combination of critical and commercial success hip-hop’s seen since Jay-Z was dropping albums every year.
A rapping technician with a deceptive knack for hit songs, the good kid m.A.A.d city rapper’s a flat-out superstar who’s proudly laid bare his life details as he’s worked his way toward immortality. But even with those spurts of autobiographical detail, it’s easy to lose track of his most notable accomplishments and career-defining moments.
Fans might know Kendrick’s signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, but they probably don’t know just how long he’s been locked in. Unless you’ve been there since day one—or even day two or three—you might not remember a mixtape he dedicated to another rap superstar at said rapper’s career apex. For whatever reason, maybe these tidbits have escaped you, so today, XXL offers a refresher.
To celebrate his 33rd birthday, XXL highlights 50 surprising facts about Kendrick Lamar. Peep the facts for yourself below.
See 50 Surprising Facts About Kendrick Lamar