It’s almost that time for President Barack Obama to step down from his 8 year presidency, and hand it on to the controversial president elect Donald Trump. But before that time comes, it’s important to reflect on Obama’s presidency, not just for what he achieved politically, but even musically.
Obama has constantly been supportive of hip-hop. Not only was Kendrick Lamar‘s How Much A Dollar Cost? his favourite song of 2015, but he has invited many hip-hop artists to perform at White House events in his time, in a show of creative appreciation unparalleled by former presidents.
Kendrick Lamar is one of the few who has both met him, and spoken personally to him in the Oval Office. Speaking to XXL, he explained, “I think the world, not just hip-hop owes him. We all have to give him his credit due for even allowing us into the building. We would probably never get inside that house ever again. Think about it like that. Rick Ross, Cole, Nicki Minaj, he really went for us to come experience it.”
Kendrick reminded us that this sort of behaviour would have seemed entirely abnormal in the past, and it’s because of this inclusion, bringing artists like of Chance The Rapper, Ludacris, and Pusha T into this forefront, that this is clear.
“This is something our grandparents always wanted to see, never thought in a million years, but [we can] pass it down to our generation to say, ‘Alright, I’m in here and I’m finna use my power to let ya’ll see how this thing works and I’mma drop some knowledge on y’all that a man can’t drop on everybody else ’cause y’all have the most influence.’”
He then went on to reflect on Barack Obama’s personality, and how he acted different in comparison to others in high power positions, “You look at him as such a high figure in the world, but for him to embrace you and have a connection with you further than just being the President and make you feel like an actual friend,” Lamar added, “That’s probably the best moment and one of his best characteristics. I meet a lot of people in high places and sometimes they get so detached from the world and from the people, they don’t even know how to interact with you.”
Kendrick was a firm supporter of the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative which Obama introduced, and you can watch his original video below, featuring footage of their meeting.
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