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One of the great young talents in rap music, Kendrick Lamar (full name Kendrick Lamar Duckworth) is a Compton born rapper who released his first mixtape at the tender age of sixteen. Having signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick continued to pump out acclaimed mixtapes and finally released his debut album in 2011, titled ''Section.80''. The album won him great critical acclaim and revealed to the public the great potential the young MC had, including Dr. Dre and {{Snoop Dogg}}, who crowned him the "New King of the West Coast" at a concert. With this, Kendrick signed to both Interscope and Aftermath and in 2012 released his second full length, ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'', an album which has been [[MagnumOpus highly regarded and held as one of the best albums of 2012]].

Kendrick is known for delivering politically charged, story driven, and often nostalgic lyrics, drawing on his experiences growing up in a bad neighborhood. This is particularly expanded upon in ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'', an album all about his teenage years and experiences with drugs, alcohol and gang violence. He has cited {{Tupac Shakur}}, Music/TheNotoriousBIG, {{Eminem}}, {{Jay-Z}}, and {{Nas}} as influences for his music.

!!Tropes present in his life and work:

* AnachronicOrder: The narrative of ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'' jumps back and forth between Kendrick getting jumped on his way to meet Sherane, hanging out with his friends, and voicemails from his parents. The story ultimately begins at the end of the second track, when K.Dot (Kendrick's younger self) is invited to come along with some friends.
* AscendedFanboy: This is true of most rappers, but Kendrick (especially in ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'') makes this a point in interviews and in his music. He has worked with many artists who were his musical heroes growing up, including E-40 (who he references in "Money Trees"), Dr. Dre, SnoopDogg, The Game and, to crown ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'', he got {{Jay-Z}} to feature on the remix of "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe".
* BookEnds: Due to ''good kid, m.A.A.d city''[='=]s AnachronicOrder, "Compton" functions both as the opening and ending credits to the narrative.
** A variant of the Sinner's Prayer opens the album proper, and is heard [[OnceMoreWithClarity again with context]] before the penultimate song.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Happens three times on ''good kid'': once when he refers to producer Hit-Boy[[note]]who'd never been heard of outside the industry until he worked with KanyeWest in 2011[[/note]] on "Backseat Freestyle", another when Keisha's sister refers to ''Section.80''[[note]]Kendrick's 2011 mixtape/indie album, in which can be found "Keisha's Song"[[/note]] on "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst," and lastly when Just Blaze[[note]]producer most known for his work with JayZ[[/note]] inserts his name into "Compton," the one song on the album he produced.
* ComingOfAgeStory: ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'''s plot seems to be a version of this.
* ConceptAlbum: ''good kid, m.A.A.d city'' is a somewhat fictionalized account of Kendrick's teenage years in Compton. After a night of robbery and drugs with friends, K.Dot (young Kendrick) heads to Sherane's house for sex. Upon arrival, two gangbangers outside her house beat K.Dot up as his gang affiliation (or lack thereof) is not welcome. K.Dot friends get word of what happen and decide to involve these two gang members in a drive-by shooting. This goes awry as [[spoiler:K.Dot's friend Dave is shot and killed in the process. K.Dot reassess his life]], allowing him to become the Kendrick Lamar we know today.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Ultimately, GKMC is one for GangstaRap and the more unhealthy aspects of today's rap. There's nothing glamorous about the thug lifestyle, instead coming off as bloody and pathetic. Partying and excessive drinking is ultimately destructive and hollow. Even sex, represented through K.Dot hooking up with Sherane, leads to an STD and some very poor choices in the name of getting laid. K.Dot eventually is set straight but at a very high price.
* DreamTeam: Really, Kendrick and pretty much anyone, but some noteworthy ones include
** Kendrick and Dr. Dre on "The Recipe" and "Compton"
** Kendrick and {{Jay-Z}} on the "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" remix.
** Kendrick and {{Lady Gaga}} on the original version of "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe".
** Kendrick, Big K.R.I.T. and {{J Cole}} on DJ Khaled's "They Ready".
** Kendrick and {{J Cole}} in general.
** Kendrick and Pusha T on "Nosetalgia".
** Kendrick and {{Eminem}} on "Love Game".
* DrowningMySorrows / INeedAFreakingDrink: Swimming Pools (Drank)
* [[EpicRocking Epic Rapping]]: Several of the songs on ''good kid'', the most obvious being "Money Trees" (6:26), "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" (12:03) and "Real" (7:23).
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Kendrick's mom tells him to stay away from Sherane.
* FreestyleVersion: He freestyled over Kanye West's "Monster" in 2010 and created a brilliant VillainSong out of it.
* GangstaRap: ''good kid, m.a.a.d. city'' is Type 1.
* HowWeGotHere: "Sherane, a.k.a Master Splinter's Daughter" to the skit after "Poetic Justice" on good kid, m.A.A.d city.
* IfItBleedsItLeads: ''now crawl your head in that noose, you'll wind up dead on the news''
* {{Leitmotif}}: Sherane has one, a pitched-up vocal melody that appears in her titular song and "Poetic Justice."
* ListingCities: In "Recipe". Rap Genius points out that all of the locations mentioned are important to the history of hip hop.
-->You might catch me in {{Atlanta}} looking like a boss\\
New Orleans and then {{Miami}}, party in [[BigApplesauce New York]]\\
Texas I be screwed up, [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Chi-town]] I be really pimping\\
But nothing like my hometown I'm forever living\\

* LoveHurts: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gThiEx7NZQ Opposites Attract]]".
* MotorMouth: Seen in a lot of his songs, "Rigamortis" from ''Section.80'' being a good example.
** Also ''m.A.A.d city'', which is full of motor-mouthed tongue-twisters.
* OddFriendship: With LadyGaga, who appeared on the original version of "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" (the final version was just Kendrick) on ''good kid''.
* OhCrap: "I'mma tell you where I'm from, OK? You gon' tell me where you from, OK? Or, or, where your grandma stay, where your momma stay, or where your daddy stay, OK? Matter fact, get out the van, homie. Get out the car before I snatch you out that motherfucker, homie."
* RunningGag: ''"Where my mothafuckin dominoes at?!"''
* ShoutOut: Several to establish ''good kid'''s mid-2000s setting.
** A song named "Sherane, a.k.a. [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Master Splinter]]'s Daughter".
** When Kendrick meets Sherane, she's dancing to Ciara.
** When Kendrick is driving to Sherane's house, he references [[FiftyCent Curtis Jackson]].
** In "The Art of Peer Pressure," Kendrick and his buddies are riding round listening to Young Jeezy (who featured on Kendrick's song "Westside, Right on Time", released as a non-album single just prior to the release of ''good kid'').
** "I fucked Sherane and went to tell my bros / then [[{{Usher}} Usher Raymond]] 'Let it Burn' came on."
** He shouted out {{Rihanna}} and NickiMinaj on the remix to [[TrueCompanions Ab-Soul]]'s "Black Lip Bastard".
* TemptingFate: One of his friends in "Sing About Me".
-->''Just promise me you'll tell this story when you make it big\\
And if I die before your album drop I hope --'' (gunshots)
* TrailersAlwaysLie: The meaning of "Backstreet Freestyle" (a super arrogant and vulgar rap by a very ignorant young K.Dot whose yet to have his eyes truly opened to the consequences of the hedonist/thug lifestyle he follows) is essentially lost outside of the rest of the album. That didn't stop it from becoming a sequel where listeners would be prone to take its lyrics on its own merit without the context of later songs like "Money Trees" and "Real."
* ThisLoserIsYou: If you still want to live the gangsta lifestyle after listening to GKMC, you have some problems.
* TrueCompanions: Him and his Black Hippy clique, consisting of himself, [[TheSmartGuy Ab-Soul]], Jay Rock and [[TheStoner Schoolboy Q]]. The four of them comprise probably the best young rap group out there right now.