Kendrick Lamar Says the Way People Look at Him Is How He Looked at the President

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President Barack Obama is a die-hard fan of rapper Kendrick Lamar. He’s already gone on record saying that “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015 and that To Pimp a Butterfly was the best album of 2015. So when the two got a chance to meet last fall, it was nothing short of magic.

Lamar visited President Obama to discuss his mentoring work with the “Pay It Forward” initiative. In a photo that could be described as “Internet-breaking,” the president and Lamar embraced in a hug. And it’s that meeting that still has Lamar talking.


In an interview with Billboard, the rapper discussed just how much it meant to him.

“The way people look at me these days—that’s the same way I looked at President Obama before I met him,” he stated. “We tend to forget that people who’ve attained a certain position are human. When [the president] said to my face what his favorite record was; I understood that, no matter how high-ranking you get in this world, you’re human.”

Lamar also said his time with the president taught him something quite simple.

“No matter how high the pedestal you reach, we all still like a beat,” he said. “Even the president has got to hear that snare drum.”  

The Compton, Calif., native is preparing to attend the Grammy Awards on Feb. 15, and he’s up for 11 awards. He’s not bashful about wanting to win them all, and wanting to win them for To Pimp a Butterfly is significant.

“The album just had a deeper impact than I expected, because it touched so many homes, and not just in my own community. I guess I’m just speaking words that need to be heard in these times,” Lamar explained.

And not just any home. The White House.