Kendrick Lamar details his meeting with President Obama and the value of mentorship in a new “Pay It Forward” video posted on Top Dawg Entertainment’s vimeo page.
“As a kid, having a mentor was vital to me,” the TDE rapper says over a video that appears similar to the footage from his “Hard Work” video that was released in December.
“Always being there when it counted allowed me to make some of the most important decisions while growing up. So it’s only right that I mentor a younger person with the same wisdom that was given to me. If it helps the next kid become a better person in life, I will forever be aware of my influence and pay it forward. I look where I’m at today and realize that most of my success is owed to the mentors that was in my life.”
The clip then shows photos of Kendrick Lamar with President Obama. The two reportedly met in October when the rapper was in Washington, D.C. to perform at the Kennedy Center. Lamar says he used the time with the President to discuss societal issues.
“I sat down with President Barak Obama and shared the same views, topics concerning the inner cities, the problem, the solutions and furthermore embracing the youth,” Kendrick Lamar says. “Both being aware that mentoring saves lives. Sometimes I reflect and think back: Where would I be if I didn’t have the presence of an older acquaintance telling me what’s right and what’s wrong, telling me the pros and cons of every move I was about to make, telling me the best way to plan success for my future?”
The Compton, California then makes a call to action. “Join me in paying it forward,” he says. “Support My Brother’s Keeper by being a mentor in real life.” In February 2014, President Obama explained the mission of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. “Helping more of our young people stay on track,” the President said at the time. “Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works – when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.”
Watch the video below: