Obama Welcomes Rapper Kendrick Lamar to the Oval Office
Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, whose latest album boasts a controversial cover and explicit lyrics, met with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday.
The two reportedly discussed a variety of issues. The White House has not commented on the content of the meeting but Lamar said in a “Pay It Forward” PSA that they talked about topics related to the inner cities and the importance of youth -mentoring programs.
The PSA was created in support of the National Mentoring Partnership, which supports affiliate mentorship programs, and featured photos of Grammy-winner Lamar with Obama. The president declared January National Mentoring Month.
Obama has said the rapper's "How Much a Dollar Cost" was his favorite song of 2015.
That was off Lamar's “To Pimp A Butterfly” album, which shows a group of African-American men in front of the White House holding champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills on top of the dead body of a white judge.
During an interview last year, Lamar commented on the meaning of the cover.
“You look at these individuals and you look at them as bad people or a menace to society, but they’re actually good people, just a product of their environment,” he said. “Only God can judge these individuals right here. Not no one with a gavel handing out football numbers of years and not giving these kids a chance at life. Every n**** is a star.”
Lamar’s Interscope Records albums have a “parental advisory” label and consist of several songs with explicit lyrics referencing sex, drugs, alcohol and guns.
“Me and my n***** four deep in a white Toyota. A quarter tank of gas, one pistol, and orange soda. Janky stash box when the federales roll up. Basketball shorts with the Gonzales Park odor. We on the mission for bad bitches and trouble,” Lamar raps on the song, “The Art of Peer Pressure.” “I hope the universe love you today ‘cause the energy we bringing sure to carry away a flock of positive activists and fill the body with hate if it’s necessary.”