Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born on 17 June 1987 in California. When he was just 16 years old, Kendrick recorded his first mixtape Y.H.N.I.C. (Hub City Threat: Minor of the Year), using the pseudonym K-Dot. The album brought him a contract with Top Dawg Entertainment. Just a year later, Lamar released a new mixtape Training Day (2005), which consisted of 26 songs.
As K-Dot, Lamar collaborated with The Game to record two tracks "Cali Niggaz" and "The Cypha". Later, The Game invited Kendrick to perform as an opening act at his concerts.
In 2009, Lamar recorded his third mixtape called C4. Following the album’s release, he decided to get rid of the pseudonym and perform as Kendrick Lamar. In December, the rapper released an EP, which he called in honor of himself, Kendrick Lamar.
In September 2010, Lamar recorded a new mixtape Overly Dedicated. It featured a new song "Ignorance Is Bliss", the music video to which was uploaded to YouTube. The famous rapper Dr. Dre noticed the video and offered Lamar to work with him.
In April 2011, Kendrick recorded "IHiiiPoWeR", which was the leading single of the upcoming LP Section.80. In the summer, together with the rapper RZA, Lamar recorded another song "Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils)." Shortly Lamar released Section.80 and posted it on the internet for free downloading.