Kendrick Lamar Visits White House, Talks to President Obama About Mentorship

By Sameer Rao Jan 12, 2016

Kendrick Lamar’s post-"To Pimp A Butterfly" career whirlwind recently took him to the White House to talk with President Barack Obama, an experience he describes in a new video. 


The video, which you can see above, features pictures of the Compton emcee in the Oval Office, embracing and talking with President Obama. He appears in the clip as part of the Pay It Forward program, a youth mentorship initiative that falls under MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, which promotes mentorship opportunities for disadvantaged youth. The video also describes "My Brother’s Keeper," the White House’s youth empowerment-focused program. Lamar described the visit as focusing on ways in which mentorship can be important in marginalized communities: 

I look at where I’m at today and realize that most of my success is owed to the mentors that was in my life. I sat down with President Barack Obama and shared the same views. Topics concerning the inner cities, the problems, the solutions, and furthermore embracing the youth, both being aware that mentoring saves lives.

The visit should be no surprise, especially considering that K-Dot’s "How Much A Dollar Cost" was President Obama’s favorite song of 2015

The Compton rapper’s visit was also discussed by President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on Buzzfeed’s "Another Round" podcast, where she described a poignant moment between the two men:

ANOTHER ROUND: Got a favorite song?

JARRETT: Not really, but you know what, Kendrick Lamar was just here, too. You know what, I was really impressed with him—

ANOTHER ROUND: He was here?

JARRETT: He was at the White House. He came and he visited the president, and you know what the president said to him? [Because] he was a little nervous — bless his heart, he’s really a very nice young man, and the president said, “Can you believe that we’re both sitting in this Oval Office?”

(H/t Rolling Stone, People, Buzzfeed