In a society of racial discrimination in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Tupac Shakur rapped about the racial profiling that he, and many of his friends had to endure. The racial profiling was more towards the police and how they were trying to discriminate against the African American race. The argument of most of Tupac’s songs were violence related. Through his messages, many people overcame various adversities. Unfortunately, in regards to racial discrimination and police violence not much has changed since the era of Tupac Shakur. However, the message behind many of the music we hear today ignores the social issues that occur on a daily basis. Very few celebrities use their platform to bring about change or awareness to societal issues. The truth of the matter is that we are living in a society that lacks positive leaders and role models such as Tupac Shakur. However, hope is found in Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar uses his platform as one of the best rappers in America, to bring attention to current social upheavals. Just as the late Tupac Shakur brought awareness to racism and political injustices, modern day Kendrick Lamar takes suite. Kendrick Lamar is the Tupac Shakur for the youths of today because in his music he focuses on the injustices of racism and the importance of peace and love.
Over the past five years, Lamar has won 73 awards out of 183 nominations. These awards include 5 BET Awards, 18 BET Hip Hop Awards, 10 MTV VMAs, and 7 Grammy Awards. He has been honored with the “Key to the City” of Compton twice and still has several award nominations pending for the 2017 year. With names like Barack Obama and Beyonce Knowles being amongst Lamar’s fan base, it is clear to see how he managed to gain influence amongst people of all different communities. He is a talented performer as well as a giving philanthropist that influences the growth of the black community. His community initiatives included assisting the homeless through benefit concerts and being a role model for the children of his hometown. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an influential leader who did not allow his circumstances throughout his childhood hinder him as an artist, the experiences both he and his family faced formed him into the amazing artist he is known as today.
Within Lamar’s lyrics, one can see mix of gangster rap, funk, neo-soul, hip hop, and rhythm and blues. He alternates his speed and voice depending on how he is feeling. K. Dot’s music is very real and raw. He does not mind getting gritty or being a little soft. Lamar is a lyricist and a poet before rapper. He tells a story in every song without sugarcoating a snippet.