Magazine Feature

Kendrick Lamar Opens Up About Meeting President Obama: 'No Matter How High-Ranking You Get, You're Human'

Courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in January 2016.

Kendrick Lamar's trip to the White House in the fall included some quality time with President Barack Obama. While the Compton rapper dished out a few smiling photos of the pair in the Oval Room in a video promoting Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative, the poetic wordsmith opened up about his meeting with the Commander-in-Chief in the latest cover story for Billboard

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“The way people look at me these days -- that’s the same way I looked at President Obama before I met him," he says. "We tend to forget that people who’ve attained a certain position are human. When [the president] said to my face what his favorite record was -- I understood that, no matter how high-ranking you get in this world, you’re human.”

Obama -- who's almost set to two-step out of his two-term tenure in 2016 -- gave Lamar two notable co-signs when he revealed that his favorite track of 2015 was K.Dot's "How Much a Dollar Cost" -- which appears on his Grammy-nominated sophomore project To Pimp a Butterfly -- and said he'd side with Kendrick over Drake in a rap battle during a recent YouTube interview.

Kendrick Lamar Meets With President Obama: Watch

In the visual spot for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Lamar explained that he and Obama tackled "topics concerning the inner cities, the problem, the solutions and further more embracing the youth, both being aware that mentoring saves lives." 

While he kept the specifics of his conversation with Obama on lock, he did offer one presidential lesson. “No matter how high the pedestal you reach, we all still like a beat,” he says. “Even the president has got to hear that snare drum.”

To read the full Kendrick Lamar Billboard cover story, click here.