Today marks Kendrick Lamar’s 29th birthday. According to Taylor Swift, today is a national holiday, and should be celebrated as such. To properly commemorate this special day, here are five facts you might not have known about the “Swimming Pools” rapper:
1. He recorded his first mixtape at age 16.
At age 16, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth released his first mixtape under the moniker K. Dot. While most of his peers were chasing girls or playing video games, little Kendrick was already putting in work and on his way to becoming the grammy award-winning rapper he is today.
2. He was a straight A student.
It’s inarguable that Kendrick is a lyrical genius. What you don’t know is that he just might be a literal genius as well. At Centennial High in Compton, CA, Kendrick was at the top of his class, earning straight A’s all throughout high school.
3. He watched Dr. Dre and 2Pac film “California Love”.
Kendrick has said that he grew up listening to Dre, and has stated many times that 2pac is his role model both in and out of the music world. He was such a huge fan of the duo that when their music video for “California Love” was set to be shot in the ‘90s, the then 7 year old Kendrick went to the filming location and witnessed it all go down.
4. He’s related to the Lakers’ own Nick Young.
Although their families weren’t particularly close, the Lakers shooting guard, famously known for dating Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea, has said in multiple interviews that the two are first cousins - “That’s my, I want to say my Dad’s sister son, or something like that.”
5. He’s the unofficial king of the west coast.
While performing in LA in 2011, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Game gave the young rapper the title of “New King of the West Coast”. Coming from those hip hop giants, his claim to the throne is indisputable. Long live King K. Dot!
Words: Brighton Lindberg