Kendrick Lamar has done it all as an artist. His albums, both his studio records and his mixtapes, are highly regarded by most hip-hop fans. He’s worked with a plethora of legendary artists, from Eminem to Jay-Z. He’s even worked with artists outside of his genre, having collaborated with Taylor Swift on more than one occasion.
With several awards to his name, including and especially the coveted Grammy, it might be difficult to imagine that Kendrick Lamar has any career regrets. But even one of the most prolific rappers in Hip-Hop would do certain things differently if he could. One of those things includes getting an education. But through all of the awards and recognition the rapper received for his work, is getting a high school diploma one of them?
Did Kendrick Lamar graduate high school?
Kendrick Lamar went to Centennial High School in Compton during his teenage years and became the first in his family to graduate. Not only did Lamar finish high school, but he did so at the top of his game with an overall 4.0 GPA. Dr. Dre, who signed Lamar to his Aftermath label, also went to Centennial High.
The Humble artist has always held education in high regard. He played principal for a day in Mount Pleasant High school in Rhode Island. There, he reminded the students about the value of education.
“Without education, you don’t have anything,” Lamar once told the high school according to Rap-Up.com. “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.”
Kendrick Lamar once helped students understand Toni Morrison
In 2015, Lamar tried to inspire students himself when he visited High Tech High school in New Jersey. High school teacher Brian Mooney used Lamar’s music to help his students understand a Toni Morrison novel. Mooney compared Lamar’s album, To Pimp a Butterfly, with the Morrison novel The Bluest Eye. This helped students engage with Morrison’s novel on a deeper level.
When Lamar got wind of this, the rapper’s manager contacted the teacher and asked if Lamar could visit Mr. Mooney’s class personally.
“I was feeling incredibly grateful and humbled that my work received that much exposure and reached that wide of an audience that Kendrick himself read it,” Mooney told the New York Times.
Lamar visited the high school and proceeded to bond with both the teacher and the students present.
“When I talk to kids, I’m really listening,” Lamar said. “When I do that, we have a little bit of a bigger connection than me being Kendrick and you being a student. It’s almost like we’re friends. Because a friend listens.”
Kendrick Lamar’s biggest regret is not going to college
In an interview with FUSE, Kendrick Lamar opens up about wishing he’d realized the college experience.
“Not experiencing college, at least for a semester, that was my biggest regret, doing it while I was in my teens,” Lamar said. “Now, all these years have passed, I done got deep into a musical career, it’s gonna be hard to find time unless I really put my focus into it.”
In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Lamar echoed these regrets about college.
“I could have went. I should have went,” he confides. He later revealed at the time that he was contemplating going back, “It’s always in the back of my mind. It’s not too late.”
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