As Obama’s presidency nears its end, countless think-pieces, appreciation posts, and memories are being shared from all over. The most recent thanks comes from Kendrick Lamar, who reflected on how Obama opened the door in more ways than one in a new interview.
“I think the world, not just hip-hop owes him,” Lamar told XXL. “We all have to give him his credit due for even allowing us into the building. 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. This is something our grandparents always wanted to see, never thought in a million years, but [we can] pass it down to our generation.”
Lamar was referencing My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative launched by Obama that invited rappers to discuss criminal justice reform. Such an example only symbolizes one of the many music-related events Obama has hosted at the White House, the most prominent being South by South Lawn.
Lamar continued to say that Obama’s friendship wasn’t surface level, it runs deep. “You look at him as such a high figure in the world, 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. That’s probably the best moment and one of his best characteristics. Basically watching him interact with my mother, my little niece, myself as a human, I think that’s the greatest thing.”
Obama’s good-hearted nature is not the only quality Lamar respects, though, as he added, “Hopefully when I get to be the older gentleman like himself, [I’ll] be able to carry myself in this type of manner.”
Read the full interview here.