Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy guests? Students from his Compton high school

Kendrick Lamar performs
Kendrick Lamar performs "The Blacker The Berry" at the 2016 Grammy Awards, held Monday night.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 0MB

At the Grammys Monday, Kendrick Lamar, who walked away with five Grammys, including best rap album, let his pride for his past shine bright.

In his acceptance speech, he gave a shoutout to his label Top Dawg Entertainment, for "taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right on this stage to be the best they can be. We’ll never forget that."

As he spoke to the crowd and performed that night, five lucky students from Lamar’s Compton high school sat in the audience.

"I stood up the whole performance, singing all of the songs," said Justin Bridges, a Centennial High School tenth-grader who attended the show. "It was the best."

Lamar graduated from Centennial in Compton ten years ago and he brought the students there in hopes of inspiring them. 

Bridges and four others got to walk the red carpet, and sit in the crowd for the Grammys. The group also got some time alone with the superstar.

"We talked, we asked him a couple questions and he told us a little about how he made it and what inspired him," Bridges said. "It was pretty cool." 

The trip was sponsored by Reebok and the students also got a new pair of shoes and went on a shopping spree.

A day with Kendrick Lamar

Principal Shauna Harris says there’s a lot of pride at the school and Lamar has come by a few times. So when she got the invitation from Lamar’s team last week, it was really hard to choose just 5 out of more the 900 students. Some are interested in music careers, others have strong leadership qualities. 

"It wasn’t just one thing -- everyone with a certain grade point average, every student had a unique quality and that they brought to the table," said Harris. 

In a video about the experience with the students, Lamar said he hopes in ten years, these students will be even further along.