While out on tour, Kendrick Lamar made a stop to become principal for the day at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, Rhode Island. The emcee spoke to students about the importance of education and explained how teachers encouraged his poetic spirit.
“Without education you don’t have anything,” he told students, as reported by Pitchfork. “My teachers were great positive influences in my life. 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.”
Video footage of Lamar’s visit can be found below, courtesy of Get Schooled.
This isn’t the only involvement Kendrick Lamar has had with schools. Recently, he Skyped with students in Alaska after they won a contest to have a celebrity guest. Via Skype, K. Dot answered fan questions, as reported by KTUU. That event was also put together by Get Schooled. Last year, Lamar went back to his own high school, Centennial High, to reminisce about flunking gym class and witnessing violence. Kendrick has also shared that his biggest regret was “not experiencing college,” stressing that he wishes he had more time to focus on school.
In 2011, Kendrick Lamar spoke with HipHopDX about elementary, middle and high school, acknowledging his and his peers’ thoughts about prison.
“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 shared. “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 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.”