Kendrick Lamar gives shoutout to 9-year-old Taylor boy named after him

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

A 9-year-old Taylor boy named after rap legend Kendrick Lamar is still glowing after getting a handwritten note and special shoutout last weekend from the superstar during his Detroit concert.

Kendrick Stewart was with his dad, David Stewart, at Lamar's Sunday concert at Little Caesars Arena, holding a sign for the star that read, "My name is Kendrick. This is my 1st concert. Can we take a pic."

Rap star Kendrick Lamar writes a personal note to 9-year-old Kendrick Stewart of Taylor. Stewart's parents named him after the rap star and Sunday's concert was first seeing Lamar.

Lamar paused his concert, kneeled on stage and pointed at the soon-to-be fourth-grader, who was in the front row, encouraging him that "you can do whatever you put your mind to." A video of the exchange has now been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media.

"You're great right now. You can do whatever you put your mind to. You understand that?" said Lamar. "I remember when I was in your age, as well, dreaming."

Dave Stewart said his son, who also got a handwritten note from Lamar that encourages him to "manifest the energy you possess," cried after the show.

"My son was so excited about the moment and it's funny because he doesn't grasp the magnitude of this moment and it going viral the way it did," Dave Stewart said. 

Kendrick Lamar, who was in Detroit as part of his "The Big Steppers" tour, has been a part of Kendrick Stewart's life since birth.

David Stewart was at a Lamar concert in 2013 at Detroit's then Chene Park when his wife was pregnant with young Kendrick. Waiting for the superstar rapper to come on stage, Stewart got a call from a nurse telling him "Kendrick is about to come out," he recalls. Stewart quickly realized she meant his son, not the rapper.

"My wife had to have an emergency C section," said Stewart, who said he was inspired to name his son after the rapper after hearing Lamar's 2010 "Overly Dedicated" mixtape and 2011's "Section.80" album. "I didn't get to see Kendrick perform because I dashed out and left my best friend there."

David Stewart stands with his son, Kendrick, at Little Caesars Arena before Kendrick Lamar's Sunday concert.

Nine years later, Stewart took his son, a student at West Village Academy who says he loves Lamar as much as his dad does, to his first Kendrick Lamar concert. Lamar's special note to him is at home. David Stewart said the rapper didn't have to write a note to his son but he did.

It's "about the power of manifestation," Stewart said. "Music is very powerful to me."

mfeighan@detroitnews.com