Kendrick Lamar and other public figures, including NBA player James Harden, recently visited Bethel Regional High School in Bethel, Alaska to promote education as part of the Get Schooled Foundation’s initiative with Taco Bell and Viacom’s charitable organization, Viacommunity. Lamar spoke with MTV about this initiative and his own education.
“I always wanted to write,” Kendrick Lamar said. “My teachers pushed me to write, so English was always my favorite subject. I never knew how much of a big deal it would be in my career until I really sat back and looked at all my old-school papers and found out these vocabulary words that I learned over the years.”
Lamar perhaps pulled from those experiences when visiting teenagers in Alaska after students in Bethel Regional High School won an academic competition for the school’s commitment to graduating high school, as per MTV. Lamar talked about the reception he got from the students at the school.
“I seen the energy, obviously their energy gave me even more fuel to come out here and look them dead in their eyes and see how much more inspiration that I can give them rather than just seeing me on TV or onscreen somewhere,” Lamar said.
Bobby Hundreds, co-founder of The Hundreds, also visited the school. He posted images of the event on The Hundreds’ website. An image of Lamar and Harden can be seen below, via The Hundreds.
Get Schooled released a video of the visit, which can be seen below.
“My teachers were great positive influences in my life,” Lamar said. “My middle school English teacher was probably the reason I became a rapper. He used to encourage me to write poetry and would challenge me, which helped me improve my vocabulary and made me enjoy writing.”
In 2011, Lamar spoke about his education in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX.
“In elementary and middle school and even high school, everybody that I knew wanted to go to the penitentiary just to say that they did,” Lamar said. “When that’s what we was raised around, mothafuckers in-and-out of jail. Then we thought that was cool once upon a time. When I seen that my uncle wasn’t really coming home, that fucks you up once you get a certain age and you realize the power of taking life for granted. That’s something that I realized and it change[d] my whole outlook, seeing him behind the walls and him telling me that’s not the place to be, telling me to make something of myself. Hopefully one day you can change our family history of going to jail and being locked up and being in prison, but it’s bigger than me just changing my ways because there’s a responsibility now for the next generation.”