Love or loathe them, the Grammys continue to be a barometer of broad commercial trends in American music. Lamar was nominated for the Black Panther album compilation he executive produced for the blockbuster film.
He didn't run away with the crown, though, as Drake was right behind him with seven nominations of his own.
The 25-year-old has never won a Grammy or received a nomination in any of the biggest categories.
The Recording Academy considered recordings released between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018.
Make sure to tune into the 61st Grammy Award ceremony on February 10, 2019.
The nominees for the 2019 Grammys mark a departure from this year's show, where women were underrepresented in the top four categories. Plus, Boi-1da, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams were listed in the Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical category.
Canadian rapper Drake meanwhile got love from the academy across the top categories for his album "Scorpion" and hit "God's Plan".
One of the nominees is Greta Van Fleet, whose debut album, "Anthem of the Peaceful Army", was released too late for Grammy consideration, though the MI band had played festivals - including Lollapalooza in Grant Park - on the back of a pair of 2017 EP's and a major-label marketing push.More news: Mortal Kombat 11 Revealed, Looks Characteristically Gory, OTT
Some Hip Hop artists were also nominated in the R&B categories.
On the flip side of that equation is best new artist nominee Margo Price, who has been releasing independent music since 2010.
Beyonce is the most nominated female artist in Grammy history with a total of 66 nods and 22 wins.
Chloe x Halle posted: "IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?!?!?!? we are in SHOCK. can't believe this". Lamar received eight nominations, while Drake received seven.
Their music video for Apes**t will go up against This Is America from Childish Gambino, I'm Not Racist from Joyner Lucas, PYNK from Janelle Monae, and MUMBO JUMBO from Tierra Whack. J. Cole was also nominated for Best R&B Song, thanks to his contribution to Miguel's "Come Through And Chill".
Chicago Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence Missy Mazzoli was nominated for best contemporary classical composition for "Vespers for Violin". 21 Savage - "Rockstar" Best Rap SongDrake - "God's Plan" Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake - "King's Dead" Eminem - "Lucky You" Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee - "Sicko Mode" Jay Rock ft.
Buddy Guy was nominated for best traditional blues album for "The Blues Is Alive and Well".
Demi Lovato, who relapsed after six years of sobriety and was hospitalized for an overdose in July, earned a nomination for best pop duo/group performance for "Fall In Line", her duet with Christina Aguilera.