Kendrick Lamar had a busy night at the Grammy’s on Monday. Beyond winning five Grammy awards and giving one of the most memorable performances of the night and possibly ever, he may have done something even more heartwarming for six Compton youth from his alma mater, Centennial High School.
The high schoolers were swept up in a limo and laced up in some brand new Reebok’s before getting the chance to interview their real life role model Kendrick Lamar which can all be seen in the video from Reebok below:
As if the group wasn’t excited enough they were then taken to the Grammy’s to see Kendrick’s performance live on stage!
“This is hugely important because it shows that people have not forgotten about Compton,” says Jacqueline Sanderlin a Compton Unified School District principal. “Even when they get to Hollywood, there is still a place in their heart for Compton. It displays to the students and parents that there are “real models” who came out of Compton and there is hope for them. I think it gives them hope and a realization that it is possible for them as well to reach their dreams.”
It means a lot more to students than we might think to have access to prominent artists.
“Our scholars are changed when they have an opportunity to talk to, touch and even ask questions of someone like Kendrick Lamar,” says Sanderlin. “This leads to another pathway of life for them… in the right way.”
Artists like Kendrick have an amazing power to reach these kids and show them what is possible even when the cards are stacked against them. K-Dot never misses an opportunity to shed light on the issues he faced growing up in Compton, from the pressures to enter a life of crime in his album good kid m.A.A.d city to his broader look at the effects of slavery and mass incarceration in To Pimp a Butterfly.
So while the world might be focused on a beef between Taylor Swift and Kanye West we’d like to highlight something much more important that is going on in the world of music. A rapper with a conscience who hasn’t forgotten where he comes from and only wants to see a brighter future for the youth of his community. As he said in the video “I can see that they’re full of energy, the same way I used to have, and the motivation to want to do something with themselves. In the next 10 years from now, hopefully they’ll be further than where I’m at. It’s a beautiful thing.”