California native, Kendrick Lamar was born on 17 June 1987. The Top Dawg Entertainment rapper is a true Gemini, having left his fans hungry for new music after taking a seriously long break from the limelight. Briefly News got to know the Swimming Pools hitmaker a bit better and compiled this list of colourful facts about the hip-hop icon.
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Kendrick Lamar comes from gangster roots
The music producer's dad was a member of Gangster Disciples, a local gang in the area of Compton where the family lived. His extended relatives were also known to have ties with the infamous Bloods gang.
In the past, Kendrick has spoken candidly about the impression this life of crime had on the whole family. In fact, the cover of Kendrick's second studio album, Good kid, m.A.A.d city features a picture of the young star on the lap of an uncle throwing up a gang sign. On the table, there's a baby bottle right next to a bottle of alcohol.
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“We got photo books full of pictures like that. I was in that atmosphere every day until my teenage years. It’s still so vivid to me. This picture shows how far I really come," Kendrick Lamar told Spin.
Top student: Kendrick Lamar got As in school
As a child, Lamar attended McNair Elementary and Vanguard Learning Centre in Compton. His mother once admitted Kendrick had been a little shy and a loner until about the age of seven, so found himself absorbed in his books from an early age.
However, the music bug hit the rapper in 1995, at the age of eight when he witnessed his icons Tupac and Dr Dre shooting the music video for their hit song, California Love.
In an interview with BBC Radio 6, Kendrick opened up about graduating from high school as a straight-A student:
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“School was pretty fun for me. I knew when it was time to press the button and get the grade," he told the publication.
The rapper also remembered a time when he forgot to finish a poetry homework assignment. In 10 minutes he says he managed to put together some song lyrics that landed him yet another "A" on his report card.
Just a few years later the rapper would pay it forward by inviting a few students from his old high school to the Grammy Awards.
Kendrick Lamar married his high-school sweetheart
The rapper and his longtime sweetheart, Whitney Alford met way back in the day when they attended Centennial High School together. Kendrick Lamar is known to keep his personal life notoriously private so fans were super surprised to finally learn about his longstanding romance with the mysterious beauty.
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While not much is known about Lamar's lady, she's believed to have made a name for herself as a make-up artist working with some pretty A-list clients.
After more than a decade together, the couple made their first public appearance at the 56th Grammy Awards back in 2014, UMusic reports.
The following year, the smitten hip-hop star announced his engagement to Whitney and the adorable power couple have been planning their wedding ever since.
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While the couple has yet to tie the knot, at least to our knowledge, the unconventional lovebirds celebrated the birth of their first child in 2019. No one saw the little girl but fans were sure she'd be a cutie just like her mama.
In 2022, Kendrick once again surprised his fans with the announcement of the birth of his second child. On 11 May, the Humble hitmaker broke the news on the cover of his much-anticipated album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. He's pictured with a gun while Whitney cradles the two children, Pop Sugar reports.
"I'm doing God's work": Kendrick Lamar got baptized during a live performance
The rapper has never been shy about sharing his faith with fans, regularly writing lyrics that speak deeply to his Christianity. Speaking with BET, Kendrick told the publication he believes his music concerts are the closest thing a lot of fans will get to an actual sermon:
“I’m the closest thing to a preacher that they have. I know that from being on tour — kids are living by my music. My word will never be as strong as God’s word. All I am is just a vessel, doing his work," he told the publication.
In 2013, the rapper went all out and performed an actual baptism at one of his shows! So he's clearly a really big Jesus fan and has been encouraging others to nurture their spirituality.
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Source: Briefly News