Last season the Los Angeles Lakers began a “Genius Series” in which they welcomed prominent guests from other industries to their UCLA Health Training Center. On Friday, Kendrick Lamar became the latest to join the growing list of dignified speakers.
The Compton, Calif., native is the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize for music. His local roots and the Lakers’ youth are a factor in the Lakers being familiar with his work, but Lamar’s visit gave them added insight.
“It was cool. It was definitely cool,” Josh Hart said. “I remember listening to his music in high school and stuff like that. For me, it was cool just kind of seeing him. I don’t imagine myself five years ago of being in the same room as Kendrick Lamar or LeBron. For me, it was really neat. I didn’t think I would be here.”
Although Lamar is a single act, Hart was able to connect with similarities in how the rapper approaches his craft to what the Lakers need to do in order to be successful themselves. “He talked about accountability, guys that hold him accountable at his own profession; what he’s doing at a show, what he’s doing in the booth, working on a song or album,” Hart explained.
“He talked about when he’s working on an album, before it comes out, like six months before he starts working on it, he starts getting into that mindset about how he wants the dialogue to go, how he wants the listener to react to the lines that he’s saying.
Kendrick! Lakers Genius talks, inspired and humbled 🙏 Grammy + Pulitzer = rare air! pic.twitter.com/YO9uD3dtSE
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 19, 2018
“For us, it’s the mindset we have to get into. It’s the mindset of doing our roles, the sacrifice for the greater cause of the team. Going out there and sacrificing, holding each other accountable and it’s one team.”
Lakers genius talks have previously been held with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix.
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