At around midday Monday at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., about 40 students are crammed into a small classroom, anxiously waiting for Kendrick Lamar to walk into the room.
He glides in with crisp white kicks, a grey long-sleeve shirt, and hair twisting every which way. The 27-year-old rapper has a broad smile on his face. He seems almost as excited as the students, who just might be having their best day of school … ever.
Lamar is on top of the rap game at the moment. His latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly,came out earlier this year and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s albums chart. It’s a complex, multilayered piece of work that wrestles with themes around blackness and beauty.