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Watch Kendrick Lamar deliver surprise speech to Compton College graduates: “Compton always been the future to me”

Kendrick Lamar has delivered a surprise speech at Compton College’s commencement ceremony – watch his rousing address below.

The rapper made a surprise appearance at the college in his hometown of Compton, California, where he spoke to 2024 graduates. He began his speech by saying: “Here is not only a representation of the world, but it’s a representation of me.

“I still believe in Compton,” he continued. “Compton always been a future for me. I think we breed some of the most incredible individuals, creators, intellectuals, talent. We had it since day one. That’s why I always screamed this City. I traveled the world. It’s no place like this one right here.”

Lamar also told the crowd to ignore stigmas against the Gen Z generation, adding: “I still believe it’s time that we change the narratives. Some people tell us, this generation don’t have what it takes. Gen Z. We talk about it all day. They try to pull us down and say, we don’t know what we doing. They wrong though.

“You know why? Because not only y’all have what it takes, but y’all have something even bigger. Y’all have the heart. Y’all have the courage to be independent thinkers. Independent thinkers. There’s nothing more valuable than that. Y’all can go out here and tell and express y’all thoughts and say it with conviction and passion and stand on it and be unapologetic about it.

He finished his speech by telling the crowd that “this degree that y’all have right here is just as big as any degree,” concluding: “I don’t care what school. I don’t care what institution. Compton College, this Compton degree is just as big… It’s all about taking these resources and taking what you learned and applying them. It’s simple as that.”

Watch Lamar’s commencement speech down below:

Lamar recently announced a one-off concert called ‘The Pop Out – Ken And Friends’, which is to be held in Los Angeles on June 19. So far, DJ Mustard (who produced ‘Not Like Us’) has confirmed he will be at the concert – it’s unclear whether he will perform.

For those unable to travel to the Kia Forum to see the show, ‘The Pop Out’ will also stream on Amazon Prime and Twitch. You can get your tickets to ‘The Pop Out’ here.

It will be Lamar’s first performance since his mighty feud with Drake, which was reignited by Lamar on his verse on ‘Like That‘: ““Motherfuck the big three, n****, it’s just big me” (the big three being Lamar, Drake and J. Cole). He further taunted the rapper with ‘6:16 in LA’, calling Drake a “terrible person”. 

In response, Drake fired back with ‘Family Matters‘, only for Lamar to counter with his own diss an hour later, with him claiming Drake was a “certified paedophile” on his song ‘Not Like Us‘.

Top Dawg CEO Anthony Tiffin has since declared the battle to be “over” and a “win for the culture”. Drake has now apparently deleted all his Kendrick Lamar diss tracks from Instagram.

In other news, we saw Lamar perform in Paris in a five-star concert: “In the show’s final moment, we get a rare glimpse into the playful personality behind this colossus of artistry and innovation, as Lamar disappears through a trapdoor into the stage, turns to stage left, and offers a cheeky grin. There’s a human touch here that can sometimes be lost in the midst of creative genius.

“‘Mr. Morale’ insisted on showing the rapper’s flaws and deconstructing the god complex that surrounds him, although ironically, the album’s tour presents a creative vision that would boggle the minds of most mere mortals. It’s a stunning, moving display from a true great of modern rap.”

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