Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's 25 favorite albums

Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper and songwriter who first gained fame with the release of his debut studio album "good kid, m.A.A.d city" in 2012. Lamar is known for his socially conscious and politically charged lyrics, and has won numerous awards for his music, including 13 Grammy Awards and seven BET Hip Hop Awards. He has released a total of five studio albums, all of which have been commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Kendrick Lamar is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of his generation and has had a major influence on the hip hop genre.

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Kendrick Lamar's favorite albums

  • Jay-Z - The Black Album
    Jay-ZThe Black Album

    I love that album. That’s one of my favorite Jay albums. Everybody say Blueprint, I love The Black Album. First time I heard Encore I flipped out. I was probably in tenth grade playing that in class like 10 times in a row.

  • Clipse - Lord Willin’
    ClipseLord Willin’

    The Clipse, Lord Willin’, hell yeah. That’s a great memory. Just off the fact how much we beat on the table making that beat and freestyling at school. That was probably one of the best memories.

  • Nas - Stillmatic

    That was a point in time where I was just into buying CDs heavy, and that was one of them I purchased. One of my favorite tracks on there was him and AZ, The Flyest. I just thought it was a dope vibe, had a West Coast feeling and spitting some of the most intricate lyrics on there. It’s one of Nas’ best tactics as far as storytelling as well, him spitting raps backward [‘Rewind’]. I mean, come on. That’s genius.

  • DJ Quik - Balance & Options
    DJ QuikBalance & Options

    My homeboy Earl would play that album all day. One of the first songs on there I Don’t Wanna Party Wit U is one I could remember that really jumps out to me and really gave me that feel. It was summertime, we was running around and that was always playing.

  • Dr. Dre - 2001
    Dr. Dre2001

    I remember ripping the packaging for that CD, my pops had brung it. I just remember him playing it all day just for months, for months for months for months. For months. Got attached to it. And years later he’s still playing it so that’s how I know it’s an actual classic.

  • Kurupt - Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha
    KuruptTha Streetz Iz a Mutha

    He had a lot of lyrical content. My lyrical content come from what he did on the West Coast. Lyrics stand out, he did New York, New York, just that alone influenced how I flip words being from the West Coast.

  • E-40 - Charlie Hustle: Blueprint Of A Self-Made Millionaire
    E-40Charlie Hustle: Blueprint Of A Self-Made Millionaire

    Nobody ever sound like E-40, still to this day. He’s reinvented himself as whole new artist. Nobody’s gonna sound like him. That’s my whole thing too.

  • Lil Wayne - Tha Block Is Hot
    Lil WayneTha Block Is Hot

    They was killing the game. Cash Money was a heavy influence on the West Coast, I don’t think the world know. Mannie Fresh made the type of beats that still have the bass in it. L.A. love that bass. We weren’t really choppin’ to the boom bap feel until later on, but they had that bass, that ridin’ music. They had a style, that’s why we love ‘em.

  • Hot Boys - Guerrilla Warfare
    Hot BoysGuerrilla Warfare

    I would say Turk and Wayne were killing it—B.G. too. My favorite joint was probably Ridin. Summertime, they had us on lock.

  • B.G. - Chopper City in the Ghetto
    B.G.Chopper City in the Ghetto

    How raw it was. It was just dirty. I like B.G.’s tone too, the way he pronounces words. I like all their tones. They’re all just unique in their own way. [Favorite song is] probably Thug’n. That and Cash Money Is An Army.

  • DJ Quik - Rhythm-al-ism
    DJ QuikRhythm-al-ism

    Down, Down, Down, that used to be crazy. I came across this record in middle school. Middle school, just playing Down, Down, Down all day. Going on the bus and bumping that. Speed was crazy, Hand In Hand. The interlude was crazy too, he always has a lot of crazy interludes.

  • Juvenile - 400 Degreez
    Juvenile400 Degreez

    Aww, 400 Degreez, that was one of my favorite summertime... Early Cash Money was some of my favorite years in life. I checked that album, top to bottom all day. There was one particular summer just the whole neighborhood just playing it.

  • DMX - It’s Dark and Hell is Hot
    DMXIt’s Dark and Hell is Hot

    That’s the first album that got me writing. I wrote my first lyrics to that album actually, about 13-14. [..] That will always be one of my favorite albums. [..] That album inspired me to be a rapper.

  • Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death
    The Notorious B.I.GLife After Death

    I remember being a kid with my homeboy, trying to learn the verse for the R. Kelly joint, Fuckin You Tonight [laughs]. That flow. We thought that was crazy. Same thing on that. The storytelling was ridiculous. Now as I look back and listen to it now, I see he basically takes us through in another direction to where it opens up to the masses.

  • 2Pac - Makaveli

    The reason I like Makaveli, one of my favorites, is the aggression of it. I look back, there was so much controversy about that album that I really couldn’t understand at a young age. Him being on a cross and the 21 gun salute [Against All Odds]. It was just so much aggression and I think that was ‘Pac’s greatest niche. Have that emotion, have that aggression on that track and it really felt like he wanted to go to war listening to it.

  • Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
    Jay-ZReasonable Doubt

    I had to double back and listen to Jay-Z once I started writing. And one of my favorite tracks on there is Politics As Usual. Just the vibe of it and the flow. I really captured that flow and stole that cadence just being a student of the game. It really stuck with me.

  • 2Pac - All Eyez on Me
    2PacAll Eyez on Me

    You know what’s crazy about these Tupac albums? These three records, Me Against The World, All Eyez On Me, and Makaveli [The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory] was played so much that you start mixing up what songs was on what album because there was so much in heavy rotation. With the older songs and the newer songs, they were played so much in the household.

  • Tha Dogg Pound - Dogg Food
    Tha Dogg PoundDogg Food

    Yeah, with Let’s Play House. [Laughs] Yeah, Dogg Pound, Dogg Food, Kurupt. They was so cold with it. That was all the stuff I was playing in the house too. I was exposed to all them crazy raps. Daz on the beat, Kurupt spitting crazy bars. Let’s Play House was one of the standout joints.

  • 2Pac – Me Against the World
    2PacMe Against the World

    It really was just in heavy rotation. Constantly going back and forth where we was just mixing and matching songs together. It was really dark. Death Around The Corner, So Many Tears, you can tell what type of space he was in.

  • The Notorious B.I.G - Ready To Die
    The Notorious B.I.GReady To Die

    [What resonated with me was] the storytelling, just the storytelling, how in-depth the storytelling was. The storytelling and the flow.

  • Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle
    Snoop DoggDoggystyle

    Who Am I (What’s My Name) is probably one of the first rap records I really learned all the way. I remember watching it on The Box, the cable channel you had to like order and call.

  • Lauryn Hill - The Miseduction Of Lauryn Hill
    Lauryn HillThe Miseduction Of Lauryn Hill

    That [record] probably had the most hits on it than I’ve ever heard. Even going back and listening to it now. Crazy, I think she was way ahead of her time — just the feeling and the cohesiveness and the concept behind it. It was just genius to me.

  • Ice Cube - Death Certificate
    Ice CubeDeath Certificate

    It's just a crazy, crazy album. A Bird In The Hand is one of my favoritest joints.

  • Dr Dre - The Chronic
    Dr. DreThe Chronic

    That was probably the first rap album I remember them playing in the house from top to bottom. Songs that I actually remember as a kid.

  • DJ Quik - Quik is the Name
    DJ QuikDJ Quik

    Sweet Black Pussy, I played that all day in my house. This is background music for me, way ahead of my time.

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