Kendrick Lamar Gives Surprise Speech at Compton College Graduation Ceremony

The 'Like That' rapper paid a visit to his hometown's college for his first public appearance since his feud with Drake

<p>Compton College/YouTube</p> Kendrick Lamar speaks at Compton College

Compton College/YouTube

Kendrick Lamar speaks at Compton College's graduation ceremony on June 8, 2024
  • Kendrick Lamar gave a commencement Saturday at Compton College

  • When I walk out in these cities, in these countries, I can be proud and say, 'This is where I’m from,'" the rapper told the crowd of his hometown

  • Lamar's speech marks his first major public appearance since his beef with Drake began dominating headlines and the rap charts

Kendrick Lamar is honoring his hometown with a surprise appearance at a college graduation ceremony.

On Saturday, June 8, the seventeen-time Grammy winner, 36, stopped by Compton College's graduation in Compton, Calif., to address the 2024 graduating class and share some words of wisdom as they prepare to make their mark on the world.

"I wanted to come out here just to tell y’all how much I appreciate y’all. I’m proud of the city of Compton, I’m proud of Compton College, most importantly I'm proud of the graduates out here,” Lamar opened his speech.

Related: What's Been Going on with Drake and Kendrick Lamar (and Several Others): A Timeline of Recent Disses

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Kendrick Lamar at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Kendrick Lamar at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

"I know what it takes. You had a lot of hardship, not only in your house, in your communities, but most importantly, within yourself, and that's the toughest thing to overcome," he continued, addressing the graduates. "We still growing day by day, brick by brick, making sure that we develop, not only in physical form but in the spiritual as well."

“Seeing y'all out here, it is not only a representation of the world, but it’s a representation of me. When I walk out in these cities, in these countries, I can be proud and say, 'This is where I’m from,' " he said.

Lamar continued to speak about his love for Compton, and also took time to address the members of Gen Z in the graduating class about to enter the working world.

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"Some people tell us, 'This generation, they don't have what it takes, Gen Z,' " the "Like That" rapper said. "We talk about it all day. They try to pull us down and say we don't know what we're doing. They wrong, though. You know why, because not only y'all have what it takes, but y'all have something even bigger. Y'all have the heart, y'all have the courage to be independent thinkers."

Lamar continued: "Now it's all about taking these resources and taking what you learned and applying. It's as simple as that. You'll have hardships, you gonna have tribulations as you had coming up here, but guess what? You have someone special in your corner and all around you and that's God, period. Every step of the way."

Related: Snoop Dogg Thanks 'Nephews' Drake and Kendrick Lamar for 'Raising the Bar' with Their Rap Beef

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Lamar's speech marks his first major public appearance since his feud with Drake began dominating headlines and the rap charts. One of his diss tracks against the "First Person Shooter" musician, "Not Like Us," has been topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a month since it was released on May 4.

<p>Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty</p> Drake

Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty


Drake and Lamar's exchange of diss tracks first began when Lamar joined forces with Future and Metro Boomin for "Like That." In the song, Lamar took aim at J. Cole and Drake, prompting quick responses from both of the musicians, and several more disses exchanged between Drake and Lamar over the course of the last month.

The father of two also recently set his first concert date since the feud began. On June 19, Lamar is set to perform at a one-night-only "Ken and Friends" show put on by pgLang and Free Lunch called The Pop Out. The concert will take place at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Doors open at 4 p.m.

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