The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Top Dawg Entertainment rapper-songwriter Kendrick Lamar with the ASCAP Vanguard Award during its 26th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
The ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Past ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include Beastie Boys, Taio Cruz, Diplo, Janelle Monáe and Santigold.
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams commented: “Kendrick Lamar’s smart, structured story-telling and genre-bending sound make him stand out amongst his peers. He pushes boundaries with his creativity, perfectly illustrating everything that the ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes.”
ASCAP VP of Rhythm & Soul Membership Nicole George-Middleton commented: “Kendrick is one of the most exciting acts in the rap game today, and we know big things are in store for his career. It’s no wonder that he’s been dubbed ‘the new king of the West Coast’ by rap veterans like Snoop Dogg.”
25-year-old rapper-songwriter Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, California, listening to and idolizing rap icons like Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. It was those 90s rappers that inspired Lamar to first begin recording and releasing music in 2003, originally under the moniker K. Dot. After releasing a series of mixtapes, Lamar started gaining attention from popular artists and producers, including Lil Wayne and Dr. Dre. With his major label debut, 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar wanted to construct an album that presents a dialogue on what kids in his generation are going through today. The album sold more copies in its first week than any other debut album that year, and earned massive nods from Pitchfork, The New York Times, MTV and hundreds of other outlets. Earlier this year, Lamar topped MTV’s annual Hottest MCs in the Game list, beating out industry heavyweights like Nas and Kanye West.
As was previously announced, the 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards will also honor eight-time Grammy Award-winner Usher with its Golden Note Award, as well as the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2012 R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts. Top awards will be given to the Songwriter of the Year,Publisher of the Year, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, Top Rap Song and Top Gospel Song. The evening will also feature performances by several award-winning songwriters/performers.