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Kendrick Lamar

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November 8, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Months before Kendrick Lamar released his critically lauded major-label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” the Compton rapper collaborated on a couple tracks with one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Lady Gaga. One of the collaborations between the label mates-turned-friends (both are with Interscope Records),  “Partynauseous,” didn't make the cut due to label holdups and creative differences. The other, the original version of “Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe,” was leaked by Gaga to her fans on Twitter on Wednesday night.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2014 | By August Brown
AUSTIN, Texas - The theme of this week at SXSW has been chaos and exhaustion, both literal and metaphorical. After Thursday morning's tragedy, which left people here unsure if they should even care about music and drinking anymore in the wake of it, the showcases Saturday night had a definite feel of "We all just want to go home now. "  For those who stuck it out, though, a few fine sets were to be had. Their blend of violence and soul seemed an...
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
It's been a while since we've heard from Dido, the breathy English songbird whose hit 2000 collaboration with Eminem, " Stan ," set a course followed by countless moody-but-buoyant hip-hop tracks over the next decade-and-change. In early 2013, though, Dido is set to return with a new studio album, her first since 2008's "Safe Trip Home. " (Let's pause here to remember that disc's underappreciated " Don't Believe in Love ," a warmly rootsy ballad cowritten and produced by Jon Brion.)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By August Brown
“If I forgot anybody, sorry, I just smoked before I came out here,” Lil Wayne said to guffaws from the overflowing room at the Austin Convention Center during the 2014 South by Southwest festival. “Shoutout to Willie Nelson.” Game recognizes game.  Wayne was tasked with rattling off all the artists currently on his label Young Money, and it sounded like he got them all. The list was an implicit torch-passing: Wayne has announced that his next album “Tha Carter 5” might be his last.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
The gasps, groans and expletives were abundant backstage Sunday as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the rap categories during the untelevised portion of the Grammy Awards ceremony. Their massive hit “Thrift Shop” took rap performance and song, and their debut, “The Heist,” nabbed the trophy for rap album over breakout Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar's striking debut, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. " The controversy was immediate. The indie Seattle duo's early wins sparked a trending topic on Twitter as outraged hip-hop purists and critics admonished voters for picking the pair's work over albums from Drake, Kanye West, Jay Z and Lamar.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" has received no shortage of media attention since its release on Monday, including rave reviews in Rolling Stone , Pitchfork and SPIN , and an in-depth feature by The Times' August Brown. When best-of-2012 lists start rolling out toward the end of next month, don't be surprised to find the album near the top of quite a few. If the Compton rapper's verbal skills are now a matter of critical consensus , though, the sound of "good kid, m.A.A.d city" hasn't quite triggered the same response.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Just ahead of his planned appearance this weekend on "Saturday Night Live," Miguel on Wednesday released a new remix of his song "How Many Drinks?" featuring Kendrick Lamar. The two L.A.-based artists broke out in 2012 with two of the year's most critically acclaimed albums: With "Kaleidoscope Dream," which also earned nominations for several Grammy Awards, Miguel offered a sensually futuristic vision of deep-groove R&B, while Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" reimagined West Coast hip-hop for kids who might not have been born when 2Pac's "All Eyez on Me" came out. In "How Many Drinks?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 1, 2013 | By August Brown
Given that the inaugural B.E.T. Experience just wrapped up in downtown Los Angeles, it's fitting that two young locals - Kendrick Lamar and Miguel - were two of the breakout winners at the network's annual awards show. The Compton-born rapper Lamar scored big for his major-label debut “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” which won universal praise for its nuanced storytelling. He won awards for best new artist and best male hip-hop artist. He was also a featured guest on “F- Problems,” by A$AP Rocky, which won for best collaboration with fellow guests Drake and 2 Chainz.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Drake leads the list of nominations for the upcoming 2013 BET Awards, which the network revealed Tuesday. The Young Money rapper-singer scored a leading 12 nominations, including an impressive five in the video of the year category. His singles "HYFR" and "Started From the Bottom" will compete against his collaborations with 2 Chainz ("No Lie"), Kendrick Lamar ("Poetic Justice") and A$AP Rocky ("Problems"). Drake is also up for male hip-hop artist alongside 2 Chainz and Lamar , who are tied with eight nods.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Over the last few days since Kendrick Lamar chimed in with a vicious verse on Big Sean's track “Control” in which he proclaimed himself “King of New York,” the rap world has been steadily answering via Twitter, Facebook and, most important and exciting, response tracks. For those not up on the hoo-ha, earlier this week Lamar, one of the most skilled and respected wordsmiths on the hip hop scene, set forth lines that slammed the state of hip hop in 2013 with a grand declaration:  “I'm in a destruction mode if the gold exists/I'm important like the Pope, I'm a Muslim on pork/I'm Makaveli's offspring, I'm the king of New York/King of the Coast/One hand, I juggle them both.” If that wasn't enough, Lamar went on to dismiss fashion-minded rappers (er, Kanye West, anyone?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
AUSTIN, Texas - Video images of fierce predatory animals flashed across several gigantic screens behind Jay Z and Kanye West at the Austin Music Hall on Wednesday night, a visual holdover from the rappers' collaborative tour in 2011 but also, it seemed, a kind of warning to the South by Southwest music festival they'd dropped in to dominate. Attract as many superstars as you like, the footage appeared to say - we'll devour them all. Once a forum for undiscovered regional talent, SXSW has become irresistible in recent years to A-list acts eager for a concentrated audience of gatekeepers and tastemakers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014 | By August Brown
An ultra-meta, avant-garde piece of corporate branding performance art? Or the final death knell of SXSW as a proving ground for unknown young bands - and Lady Gaga's career? Whatever the stakes, Lady Gaga is headlining a Doritos-sponsored bill at this year's SXSW festival, one of the week's biggest sets and marketing gambits.  The pop singer, whose relevance and commercial performance has been on a years-long slip since her smash debut album "The Fame," was initially denied a permit to perform on the actual Doritos Stage, the widely mocked inflatable venue meant to resemble a giant spicy-corn-snack vending machine (and/or metaphor for the contemporary music business)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Randall Roberts
One of the year's most anticipated hip-hop releases, Schoolboy Q's "Oxymoron" lives up to its buzz. Both heavy with bass and filled with memorable hooks, Q's long-gestating major label debut is tight in length and rich with intent. "Oxymoron" arrives in the wake of fellow Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar's Grammy album of the year nominated "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. " That's a lot of pressure for anyone's major label debut, but Schoolboy Q meets those expectations. "Oxymoron" presents 12 bass-heavy tracks upon which the artist born Quincy Hanley explores his neighborhood, his hedonism and his rough-and-tumble early life hawking Oxycontin tablets on street corners near his 51st Street and Hoover neighborhood.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
The gasps, groans and expletives were abundant backstage Sunday as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the rap categories during the untelevised portion of the Grammy Awards ceremony. Their massive hit “Thrift Shop” took rap performance and song, and their debut, “The Heist,” nabbed the trophy for rap album over breakout Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar's striking debut, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. " The controversy was immediate. The indie Seattle duo's early wins sparked a trending topic on Twitter as outraged hip-hop purists and critics admonished voters for picking the pair's work over albums from Drake, Kanye West, Jay Z and Lamar.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2014 | By August Brown
Maybe it was all the Daft Punk disco energy in the air, but this year's Grammy crowd was its most spirited in years.  Whether it was Keith Urban getting teary during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" marriage ceremony or Taylor Swift freaking at out at Kendrick Lamar's drum circle with Imagine Dragons, what's usually a semi-formal ceremony turned into an actual dance party inside Staples Center. In the front rows, Jay Z and Beyonce acted as a kind of litmus test for the night's sets - if they got to their feet, you did your work.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' “The Heist” won the prize for rap album at the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday. It was unlikely that the rapper-producer team from Seattle would walk away empty handed - with seven nods they were among the most for any artist - but their win for rap album will undoubtedly spark a firestorm among rap critics. The two emerged as outliers with a pop-oriented brand of rap informed as much by indie rock as it was traditional hip-hop. Their single, “Thrift Shop,” a witty critique of rap's penchant for designer duds, exploded on radio and went on to become the bestselling digital song of 2013 - even more impressive was the single being the fourth release from an independently released album.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 2012 | By August Brown
This year's installment of Power 106 FM's annual Cali Christmas upends many of its recent traditions. The hip-hop and R&B round-table usually gets a few titans from its upper airplay ranks, some singles-toting newbies and an L.A. legend or two. But this year's lineup is a study in contrasts and shows how quickly generation gaps can emerge in the young and fast-moving Power 106 audience. Rick Ross, the rotund and resilient Miami kingpin, tops the bill with guest-verse staples Meek Mill and 2 Chainz in tow. But the most exciting acts include Compton's Kendrick Lamar, whose lauded major-label debut, "good kid, m.A.A.d.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
This post has been corrected. See below for details. At the Austin Music Hall on Friday night, Sway Calloway of MTV delivered a grand introduction for the night's headliner, Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean bring fresh sounds to L.A. He explained that over the course of his hip hop life he'd hung out with Tupac in San Francisco, with Notorious B.I.G. in Brooklyn, with Kanye West in Chicago. He gave a shout-out to Bun B's Houston, spoke of time spent with Jay-Z, referenced Long Beach and inferring with it the city's rasta-rap ambassador Snoop Dogg/Lion.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Madonna and Beyonce appear to have their eyes locked on the Grammy stage. The pop superstars are expected to be among the big surprise moments during next week's ceremony, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans. Late last year Beyonce pulled off one of the best-kept secrets in recent music history when she stealthily released her self-titled album without as much as a hint. The Grammys is where she will make her first televised performance in support of the project - which shattered iTunes records upon its release in December - according to a source with knowledge of the matter.  Madonna, however, is expected to pop up and lend guest vocals during a performance from one of the night's nominees, an additional source confirmed.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Is Justin Timberlake back? OK, so the superstar singer-actor hasn't exactly been away lately; indeed, it might be Timberlake's overexposure this year that led the Recording Academy to snub "The 20/20 Experience" in the recently announced nominations for the upcoming Grammy Awards. (Then again, with the Recording Academy, general cluelessness is always a reliable bet.) Yet Timberlake has spent much of the past few months in celebrity mode as opposed to musician mode. Even headlining Staples Center just before Thanksgiving, he seemed more like a Hollywood king holding court than like a dude playing songs.
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