Thanks to VEVO’s Lift series, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar was able to visit the place where it all began when he was brought to his former high school, Centennial High School. According to the rapper this was the period in his life when the experiences and inspirations for his highly successful, independent album Section.80 came about.

“This was a time period where the whole mastermind behind Section.80 began, remembering these experiences. I really wanted to capture that and I feel like it’s an intricate detail, a story within my album,” Kendrick explained.

While his time at Centennial High School consisted of several now laughable moments which include the rapper failing physical education, Kendrick also spoke on more serious moments during his high school career. During his interview with VEVO he recounted one summer where he dreaded walking to summer school due to the fact that the walk put him in the middle of a gang war.

“I failed P.E. in ninth grade,” said Kendrick in a video posted on “And I was good in basketball and sports, but I just didn’t want to get dressed…10th grade summer school I had this class. And this was the time the gang rivals was heavy between my neighborhood and the neighborhood a few blocks down. We would always [debate] like ‘Damn, I hate going to this summer school class cause we gotta walk home at this time in the summertime where we know the war likes to pop off. Around the evening.’ People like to ride through and that’s when the senseless violence is waiting to happen. So I always get that same vibe coming back in this room and just remembering that one hot summer.”

Kendrick is currently preparing for the release of his next album, good kid, m.A.A.d city.

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