Kendrick Lamar has made US Billboard history. At 400 weeks on the charts, his second studio album and label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” now holds the title of longest-charting hip-hop album ever.
The record debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 charts in 2012 and has fluctuated in numbers throughout the years without falling off. It currently sits at number 100 on the list. Lamar’s major debut, following the indie release of “Section.80,” featured a slew of hits including ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’, ‘Backseat Freestyle,’ and ‘Poetic Justice.’ GKMC earned platinum status in 2018.
Touted as a “short film by Kendrick Lamar,” ‘GKMC’ tells the story of his teen years, under the moniker K-Dot, growing up on the streets of Compton. It previously earned him a Pulitzer Prize, platinum status, and five Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
“I’d be lying to you to say I knew ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ would be as successful as it has been,” he wrote for XXL about the record’s success. “In the beginning I was very doubtful. Once I was done, the jitters hit me so fast.”
He continued, “I was nervous because I didn’t think the people would understand it. And I get a call from Pharrell. He said he had a copy of the album and it’s amazing. And I was like, that call was right on time because that was when I was feeling super insecure about it. Pharrell said, ‘Never feel that way again. When that little negative man come behind your head, always follow your first heart, and that was your first heart, to put the album out like this.’ This is his words verbatim, he said, ‘Watch what’s gonna happen.’ “
Pharrell was part of the team of hit-making producers recruited for the visionary project, which also included Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, and Hit-Boy, to name a few.
Thanks to the combination of Lamar’s storytelling ability and the powerhouse team he had behind him, the album made a slew of impressive lists. This includes a number-two placement on Complex’s 10 Best Albums of the Last 5 Years, number 33 on Vibe’s 50 Best Albums Since ’93, and 86 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time.
Lamar followed up the 2012 project with 2015’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” and 2017’s “DAMN,” leaving fans impatiently awaiting his next musical journey.
Lamar’s camp has promised that he’ll be returning with new music soon, but in the meantime, he’s focusing his energy on pgLang, an “at-service company” that is “focused on using our experiences, and nurturing our many collaborators, to build stories that are equally accessible and engaging then fitting them within the best media,” according to the website.
The new company launched in March and is a collaborative effort with music producer and former Top Dawg Entertainment president Dave Free. Although still somewhat ambiguous, the website features a visual mission statement directed by Free, and says that it will touch multiple points in media and entertainment: “music, film, television, art, books, and podcasts.”