When he’s not busy dreaming about superheroes or eating salad, Kendrick Lamar is one pretty amazing guy. As his recent album To Pimp A Butterfly showed us, he’s a lot more than your average artist. A rapper as profound as he is talented, it’s clear that he loves his hometown of Compton, California. His recent video clip for King Kunta is a joyous celebration of the area, and this week, California celebrated him right back,
Rap and politics don’t always meet. But this Monday, California Senator Isadore Hall III (whose district includes Compton) declared Kendrick Lamar the 35th Senate District’s Generational Icon Award.
In a rousing speech, Hall honoured Lamar’s musical achievements, acknowledged his generous philanthropy (he’s donated a LOT of money to supporting local youth groups, sports, music programs and more,) his work with non-profit organisations and more.
“In less than 10 years as a professional artist, Mr. Lamar has gone from a local Compton young boy to become a multiplatinum, Billboard chart–topping, two-time Grammy Award–winning musician, an incredible achievement for anyone 27 years old. But Mr. Lamar has not let his recent fame get the best of him. If you visit Compton, and I would encourage all of my colleagues to do so, Mr. Lamar is a familiar face in the neighbourhood.
He is demonstrating the best of what it means to work hard, do well and give back to his community… His story is indeed a uniquely California one and a story that should encourage others to accomplish their goals and give back to their community.”
Lamar graciously received his award, giving a poignant statement in thanks. “It’s definitely an honour to be right here in front of you guys… Being from the city of Compton and knowing the parks that I played at, and the neighbourhoods, I always thought how great the opportunity would be to give back to my community off of what I do in music…. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for honouring me today.”
Watch the entire video here.