Rapper Kendrick Lamar nabbed 11 Grammy nominations Monday, making him the top artist up for the annual music awards given out each February. Lamar beat out pop star Taylor Swift and singer The Weeknd, who each scored seven nominations, but much of the Twitter buzz Monday wasn't praising him -- it was wondering who he is. If you're curious, read on for an explanation.
Lamar, a 28-year-old from California, has already won two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song in 2014. The year before, he received seven nominations.
The most recent accolades center around his 2015 record “To Pimp a Butterfly,” which is nominated for Album of the Year alongside productions from -- you guessed it -- Swift and The Weeknd. The album is also up for Best Rap Album, while his song "Alright" is up for Song of the Year and Best Music Video. In a twist, Lamar's contributions to Swift's "Bad Blood" scored nominations for Best Music Video as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the Associated Press reported.
The rapper has been releasing mixtapes since 2003 under the moniker K-Dot but began to garner national attention around 2010, according to Biography.com. That's when Lamar, under his own name, released his first full-length album through Top Dawg Entertainment. Since then, he's worked with big names like Dr. Dre, Kanye West and Lil Wayne and has become famous for his high-quality lyrical flow.
GQ wrote in 2013 that Lamar was "the game’s most linguistically cerebral MC, but also its realest — the one who finds the most vivid way to tell a story about his unemployed buddies trying to rope him into robbing some dude’s house — and it’s this polarity that makes listening to King Kendrick feel like you’re putting on the illest 3-D glasses in hip-hop."
Lamar's most recent studio album, "To Pimp a Butterfly," was released this past March. It sold more than 519,000 copies by April, Complex reported.
Here are a few of Lamar's top performances. Some include explicit lyrics: