DJ Khaled also took home an award.
Kendrick Lamar was one of the artists honored at the first Variety Hitmakers event held at the Sunset Tower Hotel in L.A. Saturday. Kendrick was presented with Hitmaker of the Year, and made a speech in acceptance of the honor. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, since I was 13, 14 years old,” he said. “To hone in the title of a hitmaker means a lot because we put a lot of time and a lot of effort [in the studio].”
Kendrick Lamar earned his first solo No. 1 this year with "HUMBLE.," and his 2017 album DAMN. has the second highest initial sales week of the year, only recently unseated by Taylor Swift's Reputation. In other words, while he's previously been known more for his critical acclaim than his sales, he is 100% a hitmaker at this point. “I thank each and every one of you for allowing me to evolve and let me make these weird a— songs that y’all like," he said. "These songs represent me and who I am. I want to continue to push that envelope and hopefully I continue to have y’all ears to do so.”
DJ Khaled was also honored at the event, receiving the Mediabase PowerPlaylist Award. As someone who has scored a No. 1 single with "I'm The One" and a top ten hit with "Wild Thoughts" in 2017, he's also known for his hits. “This is the type of cloth talk that we work hard for,” he said, before revealing that he's always hatching plans for his next big collaboration. “Every time I see Kendrick, I’m sure he’ll tell you, I whisper in his ear and say, ‘I got something for us,'” he said.
Meanwhile, Hailee Steinfeld earned the award for Variety Crossover Artist.
Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE." recently won best video at the MTV EMAs. Prior to that, the song hit 10 million downloads on iTunes. Earlier this month, the rapper was announced as a guest on N.E.R.D's upcoming No_One Ever Really Dies album, appearing on two of the eleven tracks called "Don't Don't Do It," and "Kites."