*COMPTON – Today via Twitter, Compton Mayor Aja Brown announced that rapper Kendrick Lamar would be receiving the Key to the City on February 13 in a special ceremony.
— Aja Brown (@AjaLBrown) January 14, 2016
Lamar, 28, received a total of seven nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. A year later, at the 2015 Grammy Awards, he won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for his song “I.”
In May, Lamar received the California State Senate’s “Generational Icon Award” from State Senator Isadore Hall III (D–Compton) who represents California’s 35th district. From the senate floor, Lamar told the legislature, “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.” “
To Pimp a Butterfly was” named by music magazines Rolling Stone and Spin the best album of 2015. Complex ranked Lamar atop its “The 20 Best Rappers in Their 20s” annual list. Lamar was born in Compton, California, to parents from Chicago, Illinois. His birth name was given to him by his mother in honor of singer Eddie Kendricks. In 1995, at the age of eight, Lamar witnessed his idols, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, film the music video for their hit single “California Love”, which later proved to be a very significant moment in Lamar’s life. As a teenager, Lamar attended Centennial High School in Compton, where he was a straight-A student. He recently served as the 63rd Grand Marshal of the Compton Christmas Parade last year.
“Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation,” said Mayor Brown. “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. Kendrick Lamar represents Compton’s evolution, embodying the New Vision for Compton–Purpose, Prosperity and Progress.”
Kendrick Lamar replied on Twitter by saying:
“Kendrick Lamar is one of Compton’s greatest ambassadors,” said Councilmember Janna Zurita. “He has never ever forgotten his roots. We in Compton are proud of him because he is a symbol of what our city really is—a place where dreams can come true. The fact that he’s now willing to get directly involved in making our city a better place is another blessing for us and on him.”
Councilmember Isaac Galvan added, “From the White House to the millions of young people he inspires around the world with his words and commitment to the community, Mr. Lamar is a shining example of what Compton is all about.”