article by Brittny Mejia via latimes.com
The city of Compton honored rapper Kendrick Lamar today by presenting him the key to the city. The ceremony honoring the Grammy Award winner who grew up in the city took place at 10 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Monument at Civic Center Plaza.
“Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation,” said Compton Mayor Aja Brown in a statement. “His message challenges the status quo and motivates listeners to rethink our society’s institutions.”
Last year, Lamar wrote a love letter to Compton through his music video “King Kunta,” featuring the rapper and his friends dancing through his hometown. The key to the city is Compton’s reply to that letter.
Lamar attended Centennial High School as a teenager, where he was a straight-A student, according to city officials. Last year, he served as the 63rd grand marshal of the Compton Christmas Parade. The “Kunta” video was filled with scenes from the city, including the Compton Swap Meet, also known as the Compton Fashion Center.
“Kendrick Lamar is one of Compton’s greatest ambassadors,” said City Councilwoman Janna Zurita. “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.”