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Here's What Kendrick Lamar's Childhood Was Like

Here's a glimpse into the life of young K. Dot.

Kendrick Lamar is a "generational icon" and a life-changing MC. But what was he like growing up?

The rapper recently spoke with BBC Radio 6 about his childhood, revealing many personal details. We decided to break down some of his answers to give you a better glimpse into what K. Dot was like as a young one.

  • As a kid, Kendrick Lamar stayed to himself.
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    "What was I like as a kid? To myself, sometimes. Always looking at adults and trying to figure them out. As well as youthful and into sports. But a lot of my memories come from trying to figure out what adults were doing."

  • School was fun for young K. Dizzle.
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    "I remember always being into English and writing. I had a lot of friends. Even when I wasn’t trying to make friends, they were drawn to me. Maybe because I stayed to myself... School was pretty fun for me."

  • He didn't let his grades slip.
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    "I was decent…When I wanted to be. I wasn't one of them kids that tried to maneuver with the other kids just because of the coolness of it. I knew when it was time to press that button to go and I needed to pass that grade."

  • He loved cartoons...because, well, who doesn't?

    "I liked a lot of cartoons. When I say, ‘stayed to myself,’ it was really me watching cartoons and writing and watching movies and trying to figure out how things worked."

  • One of his heroes was an NBA legend.

    "Michael Jordan. I felt like Michael Jordan could do any and everything. That’s what prompted me -- without him even being involved in music -- that’s what prompted me to do music and to want to be the best at it."

  • If you love K. Dot's rhymes, thank one of his teachers.
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    “It was one particular homework assignment I didn’t do when I was home. I actually said to myself, 'When I get to school, I’ma try to write it as fast as possible.' And I did it. I had like 10 minutes to turn it in. I wrote it. I turned it in.

    "Later that day, he was passing out the grades and I'm looking at all my friends. They're like, 'Man, I got a D. I got a C. Man, I failed this paperwork.' I look at mine and it's an A.

    "From that moment on, I knew I had a gift to actually put words together and draw my own inspirations out on a piece of paper. That was the beginning when I started writing actual lyrics."

  • Kendrick patterned raps after some hip-hop greats.
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    "My father bought me this stereo and I can remember playing all my favorite artists' albums and writing raps over their actual raps. So, a lot of times I may sound like Snoop Dogg, or Jay Z or DMX until I was able to craft my own signature style."

  • And Compton was full of surprises.
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    "The vibe of the place? If there's one word to describe it, it'd probably be unpredictable. When you grow up in a hostile environment, you become somewhat numb to it. So, a lot of the positive things, it was kind of small like playing basketball in the park, it actually stood out to us. You get used to the violence after a while so playing basketball or doing backflips stood out.

    "So I can actually tell you I had a great time being a kid and a teenager because I was still involved, my parents kept me involved in these activities, even though on the outskirts, these things was going on. One day, I can be riding down the block, with my friends, poppin' wheelies. The next day, it could be gunfire. That's how it teeter-totters. Unpredictable."

  • Here's the full K. Dot interview. Enjoy.

As you can tell, Kendrick was an interesting kid, and his childhood is obviously the source of a lot of inspiration. That's probably why he likes to revisit those days often. "I always try to go back to how I used to feel when I was 7 years old or 6 years old," he added. "For me, it was like 'The Wonder Years.' I always try to go back to them days."

And thankfully for us, it seems that also inspires some incredible music.