Opinion: Is Kendrick Lamar the Worst Gift Giver Ever?

Graduation season is upon us. Some folks are already swapping their graduation gowns and caps for sunglasses and shorts, but I’m sure there are quite a few anxious students who are still counting down the days until they are finally free. Can I just tell you how unbelieveably thrilled I am to be done with textbooks and lectures? Seriously, I am just filled with the grandest feeling of joy to know that I’m well and truly done with that chapter of my life (for now). Don’t get me wrong though— I think school is amazing. Students are amazing. Teachers are amazing. Education is extremely important to me and I think it’s important to partake in educational pursuits of all kinds. Be honest though. Even you have to admit that it feels great to ditch all the homework and exams. I mean, unless you are still trapped—I mean, happily enrolled in school. 🙂

I bring up graduation time tonight due to something I saw on Snapchat yesterday morning. Apparently, social media has been ablaze with criticism over the gift that Kendrick Lamar gave his little sister in celebration of her high school graduation. If you have no idea who Kendrick Lamar is, let me fill you in a little bit. He is a hip hop/rap artist who originally hails from Compton, California. If you’re not into the whole rap scene, that’s totally cool…I’m hardly about to drop any rhymes here (not that I could or ever should). As far as this post is concerned, the most important thing that you need to know about him is that he’s super talented, super successful and super rich.

That being said, his sister recently took to social media in order to post (what should have been) a completely normal graduation present picture. She was in the driver’s seat of her new 2017 Toyota—compliments of her big bro, Kendrick. She wrote a cute little note thanking him, yada, yada…it was really gracious and appreciative. That should have been totally wonderful and awesome, but because it’s social media, it wasn’t. The innocent thank-you post sparked a complete frenzy. People were coming out of the woodworks saying that Kendrick is cheap and that the gift was complete crap in comparison to what he could have afforded to give her. I had the chance to read some of  the criticisms and I was absolutely shocked by people’s responses. That’s why I decided to come here and share my opinion.

There are SO many things wrong with today’s society. You know this. I know this. I knew it yesterday, I know it today and I’ll know it tomorrow. There are some people in this world who simply do not mind making it publicly known just how materialistic, self-centered, unappreciative and petty they are. This is hardly a secret. If you spend just five minutes in the wrong corner of the Internet, you will run into some of the worst kinds of human beings. This is not to say that the people who criticized Kendrick’s gift are bad people, but some of the attitudes I saw were just downright nasty.

The main thing that I have to clock is the assumption that just because Kendrick is (most likely) a multi-millionaire, he should automatically give his sister an AMG Mercedes, Range Rover, Aston Martin or what have you. Absolutely not. After all, it is his money. He made it, so I’m sure he is perfectly capable of figuring out how he’d like to spend it. And who says he’s a “big spender” anyway? I mean, hello. There are so many wealthy individuals in the world who would prefer to look like a broke hobo than show off the money they have.  They drive Priuses, eat Doritos and wear sweatpants—it’s a non-issue for them to be perceived as “average” like the rest of us poor saps.

Aside from that, there are countless potential scenarios that could explain why he gave her the specific car he did (not that we, the public, should be privy to any of them). People are always so quick to judge something and write it off as someone being “stingy” or “cheap”, but I doubt they ever stop to consider all of the alternative motives. But if they do, I hope they never admit it. No one should be caught being that ignorant after a period of reflection. Here are just a few possibilities I think people could have pondered before suggesting a more expensive car as a graduation gift:

  • Practicality: Let’s keep in mind that this is a teenage girl we are talking about here. She’s not a forty-something banking executive or some hip hop mogul. Teenage girls typically like to pile other teenage girls (or guys) into their vehicles, eat/drink in them, drive recklessly in them and basically abuse them. I honestly think most people would think twice before gifting a teenager a brand new luxury vehicle, no matter how much they can afford. Besides, Toyotas are safe, pretty good on gas and can last decades if you treat them well. Let’s not forget that they are affordable to maintain over time (routine maintenance, insurance, regular gasoline, etc.) Maybe Kendrick was simply trying to give her something she could actually afford to take care of.
  • Consideration For Gift Recipient: What if his sister actually asked for the Toyota? *gasp* Someone who wouldn’t want a luxury vehicle? Yeah. There are people out there who don’t want the responsibility of driving something that costs more than some people’s yearly salaries. It is quite possible that she’s a practical girl who would never allow someone to buy her something expensive simply because they have the means to do so. Also, we’ll never know how great of a driver she is (not that she is a horrible driver). Let’s just pretend she is for a moment though. She very well could have crashed every single car she’s ever driven. We don’t know. Giving her a less expensive vehicle might have been a tactical move. If she crashes it, he can just buy her another one.
  • Safety and Anonymity: Regardless of who her brother is, she is still her. Whether she’s going off to college this fall or not, she is most likely living a fairly normal life among other fairly normal people. I mean, where I come from, teenagers are given really nice cars to drive at a young age. It is relatively normal to see kids with BMWs and such in that area. However, it isn’t the norm for most American teenagers, and it can actually be downright unheard of depending on what kind of town or neighborhood you are from. We don’t know the kind of area she lives in and we don’t know if most people know she is even related to Kendrick. What if they aren’t keen on telling everyone off the street that she’s the sister of a celebrity? Would it not look a little conspicuous to be riding around in a spanking brand new luxury vehicle at her age? This would be especially attention-grabbing if the people around her aren’t doing the same. A Toyota (new or otherwise) blends in pretty well in most places. A Bentley, as one person from Twitter suggested he should have bought her, does not.
  • It’s High School…Not Rocket Science: Please don’t take this the wrong way. High school can be extremely challenging if you take the right classes and go to a school that employs a rigorous academic curriculum. However, high school is still a pretty rudimentary level of education here in America. These days, most people won’t bat an eye at your education unless you are toting a PhD and sometimes not even then! This being said, maybe the Toyota was simply a scratch and sniff star sticker next to her name until she goes on to accomplish even better things with her life. Kendrick may not view graduating high school as some groundbreaking achievement that necessitates ultra lavish gifts. Anyhow, most brothers might only give you a card from the Dollar Tree and call it a day. It wouldn’t even be Hallmark. Or signed.
  • Unknown Additional Financial Support: Let’s just be honest here. We have no clue to what extent Kendrick financially supports his sister, mom, grandpa, neighbor’s dog or chiropractor’s second cousin…twice removed (not that he supports or even has any of these types of individuals in his life). The point that I’m trying to make is that celebrities often do financially supplement the lives of their family members and friends. Sure, maybe he “just” gave his sister a Toyota instead of a luxury coupe. But what if he was also going to pay for her entire college education or buy her an apartment so she wouldn’t have to brave the dorms? This is not to say that he is going to do or has done anything of the sort, but what if he did more than just give her the car? Would that make him look less “cheap”? I’m thinking not because…haters are simply gonna hate.



The thing that really floored me with these critical folks was how disgusted they were by the thought of someone getting a Toyota opposed to something else. How is a brand new Toyota ever an “unacceptable” gift? I’m sorry, but if anyone—rich brother or otherwise—offered me any kind of car, I’d be jumping up and down. Call me crazy, but I don’t see anything wrong with the car he gave her. It was new, free, in running condition and perfect for getting a recent high school graduate from Point A to Point B. Okay, no…it isn’t a luxury vehicle. I get it. However, it’s still worth something. The MSRP on a basic 2017 Camry is $23,070. If he had given her its worth in cash, would people still have freaked out and said he should have given her $75,000? It isn’t as though he bought her some hunk of junk off some guy in a liquor store parking lot either. I mean, this could have been her life:




I know right? That would have surely been me: Tears streaming down my face, rusting the thing up even more. Only, I would have been crying tears of absolute joy. I mean, rust bucket or not, it’s free. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s “free”. I mean, I get excited when I go to get my customary iced latte from Dunkin Donuts and they hand me more straws than I actually need.

I just feel bad for the girl because I’m pretty sure she was grateful for the gift. She had to have been pretty excited about it. I mean, why else would she post a picture and tell everyone on social media? If she was humiliated by it or salty that Kendrick hadn’t gotten her a Maserati, I’m thinking that she wouldn’t have brought it up at all. In the end, something that should have been a really happy moment for her, totally got mucked up by all the Internet trolls spreading their nastiness. Since when is it normal to encourage people to be ungrateful for things they didn’t even have to pay for? And if critics are so bothered by the brand new (probably fully loaded) Toyota, why don’t they start a GoFundMe account to buy her something “better”? You’d think the world had nothing else better to worry about than what celebrities do or do not buy their little sisters. SMH.

So, do I think that Kendrick Lamar is a garbage gift giver? Heck. No. I applaud him for being a good big brother and doing something nice in honor of his sister’s milestone—no matter what it was or how much he paid for it. Regardless of the make and model of the car, it is a present that I’m pretty sure the girl will get plenty of use out of and will still remember years from now. Do any of us remember anything we got for our high school graduations? Half of us probably can’t even remember what we just ate for dinner, but that’s beside the point. I just hope that Kendrick doesn’t feel too bad about how a select few people viewed his gift. If it’s any consolation, Forbes thought it was one of the best things he could have given her. I agree.

BUT…that is just my opinion.



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