Growing up in Compton, CA, Kendrick Lamar (formerly known as K. Dot) was constantly surrounded by an eclectic range of music. Lending his ear to R&B masters such as the Isley Brothers as well as hip-hop legends like Tha Dogg Pound helped prepare him for his role in the music industry. At age 16, Kendrick released his first mixtape, Y.H.N.I.C., creating a buzz in his hometown and garnering the attention of TopDawg Entertainment's CEO. He released four new projects in a five year span: Training Day, No Sleep Till NYC, The Kendrick Lamar EP, and The Kendrick Lamar OD that received praise from some of the most respected online music sources. He has also released multiple tracks under the group name Black Hippy with fellow TopDawg counterparts Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.