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Kendrick Lamar Takes His Ex-Convict Pals On Vacation

Kendrick Lamar delights in taking newly released ex-convict acquaintances on vacation with him.

(AllHipHop News) Kendrick Lamar delights in taking newly released ex-convict acquaintances on vacation with him.

The outspoken rapper has long been a critic of the U.S. justice system's treatment of African-Americans, an issue that he highlighted at last year's Grammy Awards by performing while dressed as a member of a prison chain gang.

As well as arguing that U.S. politicians should end policies that incarcerate a disproportionate number of black men, the star takes ex-convicts from his hometown of Compton, Los Angeles on expensive holidays.

"I like to get people from my neighborhood, someone that's fresh out of prison for five years, and see their faces when they go to New York, when they go out of the country," he told Rolling Stone magazine. "S**t, that's fun for me. You see it through their eyes and you see 'em light up."

The activist musician released his fourth studio DAMN earlier this year, a record which largely avoided direct references to the national political situation in America and its controversial president, Donald Trump.

Kendrick says this was a conscious decision as he wants to focus his activist and creative energies on his local community.

"On and off the album, I took it upon myself to take action in my own community," he explained. "On the record, I made an action to not speak about what's going on in the world or the places they put us in. Speak on self; reflection of self first. That's where the initial change will start from."

However Kendrick admits that one of the formative experiences that has inspired his activism was a 2014 visit to Robben Island, the prison where South African leader Nelson Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned.

"How strong this man was," he says. "If you could see this cell, man. And they're laying on the floor, a cold floor. To still be able to carry out a message and socially move your people from inside that cell, you just gotta be a strong individual."

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