Breaking News Bar
posted: 11/9/2012 6:00 AM

Kendrick Lamar makes splash with major label debut

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Rapper Kendrick Lamar made a splash with his major label release, debuting No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 behind Taylor Swift, and topped the rap charts with more than 241,000 copies sold.

      Rapper Kendrick Lamar made a splash with his major label release, debuting No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 behind Taylor Swift, and topped the rap charts with more than 241,000 copies sold.
    Associated Press

  • Rapper Kendrick Lamar played the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn. Lamar's album generated 2.8 million streams through Spotify, the second highest first week output so far this year.

      Rapper Kendrick Lamar played the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn. Lamar's album generated 2.8 million streams through Spotify, the second highest first week output so far this year.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- When Kendrick Lamar submitted the initial version of his new album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city," the rapper planned on heading back to the studio to record more songs for it.

Dr. Dre thought otherwise for his protege.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"When I brought it back to him, he said, 'You know what, you're done,'" Lamar recalled in a phone interview Wednesday night. "'This is a classic for your generation and time, and we're going to put this out now.'"

It seems Dr. Dre made the right call.

Lamar made a splash with his major label release, debuting at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart this week behind Taylor Swift's million-seller "Red." Lamar's album sold 241,000 units and topped both the R&B/Hip-Hop and rap albums charts. The album also generated 2.8 million streams through Spotify, the second highest first-week output so far this year behind Mumford & Son's "Babel."

Not bad for the 25-year-old Lamar, a relatively new rapper who didn't have a big hit heading into his major label debut. His single, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," peaked at No. 14 on the R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, and he scored major buzz with the release of last year's critically lauded independent album, "Section.80."

The Los Angeles-based rapper said he felt confident his album would produce solid numbers because of the strong fan base built through grass-roots efforts. He said his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, led the way, marketing his music through word of mouth and the Internet before Interscope Records stepped in.

"It was really just everybody catching up," he said. "I'm sure half of the industry probably thought an underground artist or a person with content and substance would probably not see numbers like that." He said his mentor, Dr. Dre, gave him the freedom to breathe artistically while recording the new album. He said his intent was to put together a cohesive record that maintained a flow from track to track instead of trying to produce hit singles.

Critics certainly felt he displayed that on the album, which earned raved reviews. On the songs, Lamar tells several stories that were intertwined through skits about his upbringing in Compton, the gritty city southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

"Songs are going to come, regardless," Lamar said. "Whether it's a radio joint or a hit record, it's going to come regardless. ... My initial goal is to make an album the same way Tupac (Shakur) did, the same way Jay-Z did, the same way Big (Notorious B.I.G.) did. I'm taking it back to the essence of that."

Share this page
  • This article filed under:
  • Music
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here