If you are a fan of hip hop music, you might have heard of two artists who share the same last name: Duckwrth and Kendrick Lamar. Duckwrth is a rising star who has collaborated with names like Anderson .Paak, Kehlani, and Rico Nasty. Kendrick Lamar is a rap legend who has won multiple Grammy awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the respect of his peers and critics. But are they related by blood or just by coincidence? Let’s find out.
The Meaning of Duckworth
Duckworth is a surname that originated in England. It means “dweller by the duck enclosure” or “keeper of ducks” It is derived from the Old English words “duce” (duck) and “worth” (enclosure, farm, or estate) According to a genealogy website, there are over 10,000 people with the surname Duckworth in the United States, and over 8,000 in the United Kingdom Some of the notable people with this surname include:
- Sir James Duckworth-Chad (1899-1982), a British army officer and politician.
- Sir John Duckworth (1748-1817), a British naval officer and admiral.
- Nicholas Duckworth (born 1979), a British entrepreneur and philanthropist.
- Tim Duckworth (born 1996), an American-British decathlete.
- Bettye LaVette (born 1946), an American soul singer whose birth name is Betty Jo Haskins.
The Story of Duckwrth
Duckwrth is the stage name of Jared Lee, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and artist. He was born on May 13, 1989, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in a Christian household, always surrounded by music. Before going into music, Duckwrth studied graphic design in college. He appeared in several TeamBackpack cyphers on YouTube
In the mid-2010s, Duckwrth began releasing his own songs online under the Duckwrth moniker and expanded his audience when he collaborated and released a split project with The Kickdrums in 2015 titled Nowhere In 2016, Duckwrth released his first full-length album, I’m Uugly, a conscious hip hop record. The album was met with positive reviews and included his debut single “HiiiiPower”
In late 2017, he released a mixtape, An XTRA UUGLY Mixtape, being his first record with Republic Records His single “Start a Riot” was featured in the 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. His song “MICHUUL.” was featured in the HBO series Insecure and the CW series All American In 2019, he released the EP The Falling Man and released his major label debut album on Republic, SuperGood, in 2020
The Story of Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is the stage name of Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, an American rapper and songwriter. He was born on June 17, 1987, in Compton, California. He grew up in a neighborhood filled with crime, drugs, and violence. His father, Kenny “Ducky” Duckworth, was a former gang member who moved from Chicago to Compton to escape the street life. His mother, Paula Oliver, worked at McDonald’s. Kendrick was influenced by his father’s love for music and by artists like Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z
Kendrick began his career as a teenager performing under the stage name K.Dot. He quickly garnered local attention which led to him signing a recording contract with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in 2005 After becoming a founding member of the hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, Kendrick dropped his stage name and started using his first and middle names professionally. In 2011, he released his debut studio album Section.80, a conscious hip hop record. The album was met with positive reviews and included his debut single “HiiiiPower”
In 2012, Kendrick secured a record deal with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, under the aegis of Interscope Records, and released his second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. The West Coast and gangsta rap influenced album garnered widespread critical recognition and commercial success while including the singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Backseat Freestyle”, and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”
A visit to South Africa inspired Kendrick’s jazz-flavored third studio album To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). It received universal acclaim and became his first number-one album on the Billboard 200. The same year, he topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time with the remix of “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift. Kendrick experimented with R&B, pop and psychedelic soul in his fourth studio album Damn (2017). It spawned his first solo number-one single “Humble” and became the first non-classical and non-jazz work to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Following a four-year hiatus, Kendrick released his fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (2022), which served as his swan song from TDE. He has directed and produced several music videos and films with his creative partner Dave Free, with whom he founded the creative collective PGLang.
The Connection Between Duckwrth and Kendrick Lamar
So, is Duckwrth related to Kendrick Lamar? The answer is no. They are not related by blood or by family ties. They just happen to have the same surname, which is not uncommon in the world of music. There are many examples of artists who share the same last name but are not related, such as:
- Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson (siblings) vs. Alan Jackson and Joe Jackson (not related).
- Bob Marley and Ziggy Marley (father and son) vs. Rita Marley and Damian Marley (not related).
- John Lennon and Julian Lennon (father and son) vs. Sean Lennon and Cynthia Lennon (not related).
- Beyoncé Knowles and Solange Knowles (sisters) vs. Richard Knowles and Michelle Williams (not related).
However, Duckwrth and Kendrick Lamar do have some connections beyond their surname. They are both from Los Angeles, California, and they both make conscious hip hop music that addresses social issues, personal struggles, and cultural identity. They are also both signed to Republic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. They have also expressed mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work.
In an interview with Billboard in 2018, Duckwrth revealed that he was inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album and that he wanted to collaborate with him someday. He said:
“I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar. He’s one of my favorite artists right now. I think he’s one of the most important artists right now. His album To Pimp a Butterfly was one of the albums that really inspired me to make my own album I’m Uugly.”
In another interview with Complex in 2020, Duckwrth praised Kendrick Lamar’s versatility and creativity as an artist. He said:
“Kendrick is one of those artists that can do anything he wants to do. He can rap on a trap beat, he can rap on a jazz beat, he can rap on a rock beat, he can rap on a pop beat. He can do whatever he wants to do because he’s that talented.”
Kendrick Lamar has also shown appreciation for Duckwrth’s music. In 2017, he included Duckwrth’s song “MICHUUL.” in his curated playlist for NFL Madden 18 soundtrack. In 2019, he invited Duckwrth to perform at his inaugural Something in the Water festival in Virginia Beach, along with other artists like Pharrell Williams, SZA, Janelle Monáe, and Anderson .Paak.
Duckwrth and Kendrick Lamar are two talented and influential hip hop artists who share the same surname but are not related by blood or by family ties. They are both from Los Angeles, California, and they both make conscious hip hop music that addresses social issues, personal struggles, and cultural identity. They are also both signed to Republic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. They have also expressed mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work and have collaborated in some ways.
Is Duckwrth related to Kendrick? The surprising truth behind their surnames is that they are not related at all. They just happen to have the same surname, which is not uncommon in the world of music. However, they do have some connections beyond their surname that make them both remarkable artists in their own right.