“.@kendricklamar you inspire millions + rep #Compton w/ honor!,” Mayor Brown tweeted. “Excited to give you the #keytothecity Feb13th! #VisionForCompton #ComptonUp.”
Lamar responded to the mayor, tweeting, “I appreciate that. HUBLUV.”
The 28-year-old rapper was born in Compton and attended Centennial High School, where he was a straight-A student. When he was eight, he watched Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre film the music video for “California Love,” which later proved a pivotal moment for his future rap career.
This isn’t the first civic honor the rapper has received. He represented his hometown when he served as the 63rd Grand Marshal of the Compton Christmas Parade last year, and the California State Senate gave Lamar a Generational Icon Award in May.
“It’s definitely an honor to be right here in front of you guys,” he told the legislature at the time. “Being from the City of Compton and knowing the parks that I played at and the neighborhoods, 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 honoring me today.”
The city of Compton will give Lamar the Key to the City in a special ceremony, which takes place on February 13th.
“Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation,” Mayor Brown said in a statement. “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.
“Mr. Lamar’s achievements further Compton’s legacy of ingenuity and excellence,” the Mayor added. “Kendrick Lamar represents Compton’s evolution, embodying the New Vision for Compton – Purpose, Prosperity and Progress.”
The rapper’s achievements have earned him acknowledgement beyond the city and state level. Lamar recently met with President Obama in the Oval Office. Their discussion was addressed in a video for the Pay It Forward program, which promotes mentoring inner city youth.