He's heading out on a UK tour alongside James Blake very soon.
At the end of 2017, stateside rapper Kendrick Lamar celebrated some high profile critical acclaim as DAMN, his fourth studio album, topped many album of the year lists. The album’s release marked another milestone in Lamar’s music, finding the balance between the underground vibes of breakthrough Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and it’s more ambitious and equally poignant follow-up To Pimp A Butterfly. It spawned the huge single Humble, a more unusual mainstream success, a song which dominated radio airways and party playlists throughout 2017.
Between the release of his increasingly iconic albums, Kendrick Lamar has regularly teamed up with international superstars as well as emerging artists, lending his distinctive rap to a wide range of musical styles. Lamar launched his 2018 music by collaborating with rapidly growing R&B artist SZA on new track All The Stars, another in a long string of high-profile and underground partnerships.
Celebrating the release of All The Stars and his forthcoming UK tour dates with James Blake in support, as well as recent new music appearing from the Black Panther OST, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite Kendrick Lamar collaborations.
Originally appearing on Taylor Swift‘s 2014 release 1989, Bad Blood celebrated an overhaul for the single release, inviting Kendrick Lamar into the fold. The song reached No.1 in the United States, as well as other countries across the globe, in part thanks to a hugely cinematic video featuring the rapper himself.
Released as the third single from Danny Brown’s sleeper hit Atrocity Exhibition, Really Doe is something of a rap powerhouse, teaming up with not just Lamar (who provides the all-important hook), but also Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt.
The first piece of new music to appear by both rising superstar-in-the-making (check out her position on the Coachella line-up) SZA and by Kendrick Lamar. At the time of release it marked the first track to appear from the Black Panther OST, for which Lamar was handpicked as producer.
Another track lifted from the Black Panther OST, King’s Dead sees Jay Rock listed as the lead artist, joined by Lamar, fellow internationally renowned rapper Future, and soon-to-be touring partner James Blake. As with his Danny Brown collaboration, it’s a massive rap showcase.
Towards the end of 2017, Irish megastars U2 released their companion album to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. The aptly titled Songs of Experience sees them team up with Kendrick on Get Out Of Your Own Way, an example of the rapper’s broad appeal.
Delving into the pop world again back in 2016, Kendrick Lamar contributed to the continued reinvention of Maroon 5. The song hit the top ten in fifteen countries, and launched Maroon 5’s 2017 album Red Pill Blues. Although the official video for the track doesn’t feature Lamar, it’s definitely worth a watch.
Kendrick Lamar teamed up with quirky pop sensation Sia on The Greatest, taken from the deluxe release of her This Is Acting album. The song is a direct reaction to the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings, giving it an incredible poignancy.
Consistently working with fellow rappers, Kendrick Lamar partnered with Travis Scott in 2016 for the third single from his Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight album, goosebumps. The pair met at the MTV Music Video Awards when Lamar reportedly approached Scott. Scott jumped at the chance, and the resulting track broke into the US Top 40.
Kendrick Lamar brings his live show to the UK in February 2018, joined by James Blake in support. Here are those dates:
7 February 2018 – 3Arena, Dublin
9 February 2018 – Genting Arena, Birmingham
10 February 2018 – Manchester Arena, Manchester
11 February 2018 – SSE Hydro, Glasgow
12 February 2018 – The O2, London
13 February 2018 – The O2, London
20 February 2018 – The SSE Arena Wembley, London
Remaining tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.