Compton-raised rapper Kendrick Lamar brushed elbows with the top of the hip hop food chain in 2013, opening for Kanye West on the "Yeezus" tour and serving as the only guest rapper to appear on Eminem's studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Those high-profile assignments came after Lamar's first major-label album, 2012's good kid, m.A.A.d city, vaulted to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. A 2013 Rolling Stone story named Lamar one of 50 reasons to be excited about live music -- his ticket-buying fans certainly agree. He can do it without a posse or dancers, often commanding the stage joined only by a DJ.