Download Kendrick Lamar's First Mixtape, 'Y.H.N.I.C.,' Released at 16

The art of rapping is a craft (in most cases) that’s acquired at an early age and developed over

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The art of rapping is a craft (in most cases) that’s acquired at an early age and developed over time. Case in point, Kendrick Lamar. There’s no denying that K. Dot belongs among today’s elite hip-hop rhymesayers. The Compton rapper released his first mixtape, Y.H.N.I.C., at the age of 16. The artist’s first cut finds him spitting over then-popular radio favorites such as Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Lil Wayne’s “Go DJ,” and Jay-Z’s “Hova Song.” In an interview with HipHopDX back in 2011, he said that Y.H.N.I.C. helped him to get his name out in the local rap scene:

“My first mixtape, I was 16 and it was called Y.H.N.I.C., Youngest Head Nigga In Charge. Kind of ignorant, right? We put it out on a local scale in Compton and built a buzz in the city and eventually got to this guy named Top Dawg, he had his own independent label and I’ve been with them since and we’ve just been developing my sound and branching off of that mixtape to eventually have a debut album.”

Thanks to the unpredictable laws of the internet, the piece has now been made available for our listening pleasure. Download it here.

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