Kendrick Lamar Reflects on His High School Experience

Kendrick Lamar Reflects on His High School Experience

The Compton hip hop star talks memories of gang wars and summer school.

Published August 10, 2012

Kendrick Lamar is looking into his past and shedding light on where it all began. He headed back to his former high school with VEVO’s Lift series to discuss the inspiration that fueled his hit independent album, Section.80.


"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," he said.


The Compton rapper joked about failing physical education in ninth grade, but got more serious when reflecting on a gang war that he had to avoid while walking home from summer school. 


"Tenth 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," explained the rising hip hop star.


The MC has come a long way from his Compton roots, but still gets motivation from those events that shaped him. He’s currently working on the launch of his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, which also reflects upon the stories of his life, past and present. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.


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(Photo: John Ricard/BET)

Written by Arielle Loren


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