Following the release of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid m.A.A.D. city, the West Coast rapper inscribed himself in hip-hop’s lexicon permanently. Now he’s been nominated for Best New Artist at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards. In partnership with The Recording Academy, we’re thrilled to support Kendrick Lamar’s rapidly expanding career.

His archive of music is defined by lyricism, storytelling, passion and masterful production. Lamar has the wit and skill to reinvigorate an entire genre, a rare find. Millions of people followed his growth into one of the most promising rising artists on earth, but that wasn’t always the case. When we spent a day in the studio with Lamar, he recalled the early days of his career. Though he proudly reps his Compton roots now, there was a time when he felt apprehensive to put himself out there. “My story’s a little bit different,” he explains. Letting the world in on his life was a leap of faith, “It took a whole lot of courage.” Courage undoubtedly plays a role in an artist like Lamar’s career, but for every ounce of courage he expends, he has to put in equal parts hard work and dedication.

Lamar’s a self-professed workaholic. Known for pushing the artists signed to his label T.D.E. (Top Dawg Entertainment) like previous Pulse On Who’s Next feature Sza, Rapper Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad and more, he’s a firm boss who leads by example. He’ll tell you himself in the video, Kendrick is in the studio until 4am and back up at 9am to keep working until he has to get on stage with Kanye West for his Yeezus tour. No sleep—but all in the name of his passion.

Watch the video above to experience a day in the life with Kendrick Lamar, and tune in to watch the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, January 26, 2014.