Kendrick Lamar

With a sensual, soulful quality to his voice reminiscent of Kanye West, this 25-year-old Chicago rapper recounts his tales of the city through a heady synthesis of soul, funk and blues. The vision of Kendrick Lamar is as if in a film: we move through his music as if through its different scenes.  Listening to his album good kid, m.A.A.d city, which includes Compton, made in collaboration with Dr Dre, is as intense an experience as it gets and reminiscent of legendary Grammy award-winners Roots.  There’s a smooth, poetic flow to the rhythm that entrances you and is clearly built upon a lengthy live and mix tape apprenticeship. Despite his relative youth, Lamar has plainly already been around the block a few times and it shows, the influences of artistes he has appeared with throughout his career plainly helping shape that vision. Although good kid lacks the touted Lady Gaga collaboration, which couldn’t be put together in time, it’s plain Lamar is fated to mix with the big hitters.

Catch him before he moves into the stratosphere. On tour in the US for the rest of 2012, he appears at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on January 20, in Monaco on 23 and Milan on 24.

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