Compton, California’s Kendrick Lamar initially rapped as K. Dot and released a series of mixtapes under that name. Youngest Head Nigga in Charge (2003), Training Day (2005), and C4 (2009) preceded his decision to go by his birth name. Overly Dedicated, released in 2010, was the first Kendrick Lamar mixtape and fared well enough to enter Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that October.
Lamar’s first official album was released the following year; Section.80, issued on Top Dawg Entertainment, entered the Billboard 200 at number 113. From 2009 through 2011, he appeared on tracks by Big Pooh, Jay Rock, Tech N9ne, and Game. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi