Who Kendrick Lamar Was Before He Was Famous

A short video about the ‘come up’ of Compton’s poetic rapper Kendrick Lamar created by Michael McCrudden, who has a fascinating youtube channel with many “before they were famous” stories. In this segment, he gives us a good glimpse inside the world of Kendrick, who was a gifted student who was very artistic as a child. When he was just 8 years old, he recalls being on his father’s shoulders watching the video of California Love being recorded. This served as a massive inspiration. Kendrick would study and master the works of the legendary rappers before him. He officially began his rap career at age 13 and made an ambitious goal to become the best one day. Kendrick Lamar did have some fallouts as he was slightly involved with some gang activity, which was heavily populated in the Compton area with bloods and crypts. Thankfully, his passion for making music kept him steadily focused and driven, and he also had a family committed to keeping him away from the negative influences in the area, who would invest in his talents.



“Before Kendrick Lamar would be topping charts alongside Taylor Swift with Bad Blood, Before MTV named him the hottest MC of 2012 putting him in the same ranks as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Kendrick was eight when his dad took him to watch Dr. Dre and Tupac shoot the video for California Love, just two blocks away from his own home. Neither of his parents graduated high school and Kendrick grew up the odd man out in his family as a bit of a keener with his nose in the books.

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born in Compton in 1987 to a family heavily involved in gang culture. His father had been part of Chicago’s infamous Gangster Disciples, and his attempts to leave that life were defeated when the couple relocated to Compton only to find this area gang-polluted and flooded with crack culture in the 80s.

As they made efforts to raise Kendrick right, his parents worked regular jobs but some of their extended family became embroiled in the destructive conflicts between the Crips and Bloods. Lamar’s uncle was shot and killed, and various cousins went to prison.

Kendrick was a gifted student who enjoyed writing, initially short stories, later poems, which then developed into lyrics. His parents and extended family took note and they began investing in his talents by shielding him from gang life.

I’m Michael McCrudden and welcome to Before they were famous documenting the life of Kendrick Lamar, prior to fame.” –  Michael McCrudden

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