2017 has belonged to Compton MC Kendrick Lamar, with the success of his highly acclaimed album DAMN. and its chart success.

Kung-Fu Kenny was recently honored at Variety’s inaugural Hitmakers event with the Hitmaker of the Year award.

The ceremony took place Saturday (Nov. 18), at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., and featured dozens of artists and execs. The function was in conjunction with the issue that lists 77 of the top music makers, while dissecting the 30 most-consumed songs of the year to date, analyzing the components of each song that made it into a hit record.

K. Dot’s critically-acclaimed album, Damn., helped him win the most prestigious trophy of the night. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, since I was 13, 14 years old – 15, 16 with my boy Dave in the studio,” Lamar said during his acceptance speech. “To own and 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]. I wanna go back to when I was first in the studio. You know, it’s a lot of trash shit I was doing in that studio that didn’t live up to the hype. But I respect the moments. I love the moments. ‘Cause it takes me back to the first initial idea of me trying to be lyricist or trying to be a hitmaker.”

Lamar continued, “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. 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. The master curator took home the Mediabase PowerPlaylist award. “This is the type of cloth talk that we work hard for,” he stressed to those in attendance while receiving his honor.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9228566p)
Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled
Variety Hitmakers Brunch, Inside, Los Angeles, USA – 18 Nov 2017

Check out Kendrick’s acceptance speech below.