To many kids and rap fans, Kendrick Lamar has become a generational icon through his music and with his message. Now, he can officially call himself that, thanks to the California State Senate.
On Monday, K. Dot was honored with the 35th Senate District's Generational Icon Award, which was presented by him to State Senator and fellow Compton native Isadore Hall III, who sung the rapper's praises in his introductory speech.
"In less than ten years as a professional artist, Mr. Lamar has gone from a local Compton young boy to become a multi-platinum, Billboard chart-topping, two-time Grammy Award-winning musician -- an incredible achievement for anyone 27 years old," Hall III said.
"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 neighborhood...giving back to his community that raised him. He has personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support sports programs, after school programs, music programs in the Compton Unified School District to help keep Compton students off the streets and in the classroom."
In his acceptance of the award, the To Pimp A Butterfly rapper was characteristically appreciative and humble.
"It's definitely an honor to be here in front of you guys," he said, after opening by warmly asking everyone how they were doing. "Being from the city of Compton, and knowing the parks that I played at, and the neighborhoods, I always thought of how great the opportunity would be to give back to my community off what I do in music. So, in order to do that from a city all the way to a state standpoint, then you have these young kids look at me as some type of inspiration, it's really an honor, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for honoring me today."
The rapper, his fiancee, Whitney Alford, and Hall III also sat with California's governor, Jerry Brown.