Kendrick Lamar Says President Obama Changed Hip-Hop’s History By Embracing Rap So Strongly

While in NYC for his Brooklyn secret show, Kendrick Lamar took a little time to discuss his experiences with President Obama, praising POTUS for welcoming him and hip-hop into the White House. Lamar said the best part of it all was having Obama making him feel like an “actual friend” when he and his family visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

“You look at him as such a high figure in the world,” Lamar told XXL, “but for him to embrace you and have a connection with you further than just being the President and make you feel like an actual friend.”

He continued, “That’s probably the best moment and one of his best characteristics. I meet a lot of people in high places and sometimes they get so detached from the world and from the people, they don’t even know how to interact with you. Basically watching him interact with my mother, my little niece, myself as a human, I think that’s the greatest thing.”

K. Dot was a favorite of the Obama White House. The Compton rapper performed there at birthday parties for the President as well as his daughter Malia plus he was called on for as a Fourth of July celebration. Obama also called “How Much a Dollar Cost” his favorite song of 2015, a hefty honor bestowed not just on Kendrick but all of hip-hop.

For that and more, the “Alright” MC says the rap world owes Obama. “We all have to give him his credit due for even allowing us into the building,” he said. “We would probably never get inside that house ever again. Think about it like that. Rick Ross, Cole, Nicki Minaj, he really went for us to come experience it.” The group of artists were all invited to the White House to take part in the My Brother’s Keeper initiative for criminal justice reform.

The gravity of it all shouldn’t be lost, according to Kendrick. Having a black man as the leader of our country opening not only the White House doors but opening doors to other opportunities sends a powerful message to rap world and the black community. “This is something our grandparents always wanted to see, never thought in a million years,” Lamar said,” but [we can] pass it down to our generation to say, ‘Alright, I’m in here and I’m finna use my power to let ya’ll see how this thing works and I’mma drop some knowledge on y’all that a man can’t drop on everybody else ’cause y’all have the most influence.’”

(Via XXL)