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Video: A Deep Dive Into Kendrick Lamar's Compton

A look at Lamar's complex, struggling hometown and the people who live there

At the advice of Snoop Dogg, the folks over at Vice's music arm, NOISEY, decided to go into a part of Compton that is, as the video host puts it, "having a moment." Bompton is Compton, but the section that's Blood territory—"They put a B in front of everything," Snoop says—and it's getting attention now because of the massive critical and commercial success of rapper and native son Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar is not gang-affiliated, but he grew up in this part of Compton, and many of his friends are; he says he could have rapped about gang violence just by virtue of where he's from, but he chose to make music that reflects the complex reality of a city where people feel overwhelmed and overcome by endemic poverty, daily violence, underperforming schools, and the aftereffects of incarceration. Lamar says his music "invites people in to get another perspective. It brings a whole 'nother side of the world to Compton ... to say 'Ok, these are actually people.'"

The first installment of the six-part series incorporates a variety of perspectives beyond Lamar's own to assemble a glimpse of the city struggling to survive and thrive: there are interviews with the principal at Lamar's old high school, his high school English teacher, and his best friend (who is in a gang and has served prison time, but is trying to make a music career now), as well as an expert on crisis intervention from UCLA who's spent over a decade working with gang members in South LA.

In the second episode, over a nice big bowl of homemade gumbo, viewers get a quick history lesson on the last hundred or so years of Compton's history, and insights on Compton's past from a resident who's lived there for 50 years. NOISEY's whole Bompton series can be found here, and the full episode is airing on March 1 on a brand new channel, VICELAND, but you can watch the first two parts above and below: