Kendrick Lamar has been given the keys to Compton, California.
The rapper was born in Compton in 1987 and has written about his life growing up in the city throughout his career, most notably on 2012 album ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’. An 8 year-old Lamar witnessed Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, shooting the video for ‘California Love’ in Compton in 1995.
Compton mayor Aja Brown announced the news that Lamar will be given the freedom of the city yesterday (January 14) with a ceremony set to take place on February 13. In a statement she paid tribute to Lamar “challenging the status quo” in his music.
— Aja Brown (@AjaLBrown) January 14, 2016
“Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation,” said Mayor Brown. “His message challenges the status quo and motivates listeners to rethink our society’s institutions. I believe Kendrick Lamar is not only an artist, but an influencer of an entire generation. He represents Compton with great pride and I am honored to present him with the Key to the City, which symbolizes our deep appreciation for his philanthropic work and commitment to our community.”
Coincidentally, Kendrick Lamar rapped about being given the keys to Compton last year, in a guest verse of Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’. In the track, he says: “I got key to my city, I got key to California, I might legalize your homicide and more marijuana”.
Earlier this week Lamar discussed meeting President Obama in a new PSA video for the Pay It Forward mentoring programme. The US President recently named Lamar’s ‘How Much A Dollar Cost?’, from latest album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, his favourite track of 2015. The pair later met at the White House.