Kendrick Lamar has long been considered a hometown hero in Compton, Calif. Besides proudly repping the city in his music, he’s also taken steps to be an advocate for the community -- something evidenced by his recent conversation with President Obama.
Now, his hometown is returning the love by honoring Kendrick with a key to the city. Compton mayor Aja Brown announced the news on Thursday (Jan. 14) with a tweet praising the homegrown rapper.
Brown further elaborated on Kendrick’s influence in a statement, saying, “Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation. 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,” she continued.
Shortly after, Kendrick followed up with an appreciative tweet of his own.
This isn’t the first time Kendrick has been recognized for his contributions to Compton. Last year, he was the 63rd Grand Marshal of the city's Christmas Parade, and last May, he was given the “Generational Icon” award by the California State Senate.
“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," he said at the time. "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.”
Kendrick will be given the key to Compton at a special ceremony on Feb. 13. Two days later, he’ll take on the Grammys, where he leads the pack with 11 nominations for his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.