NOISEY “Bompton” Parts 1-6

NOISEY Bompton: Growing up with Kendrick Lamar (Part 1)

Compton, California, is one of hip-hop’s most celebrated locales, the birthplace of acts like N.W.A. and, more recently, Kendrick Lamar. It’s also home to a complicated gang culture. Noisey Bompton centers around Kendrick Lamar and the friends he grew up with on the West Side of Compton, many of whom feature on the cover of his album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly.’ n the first of six segments, we sit down with Kendrick to talk about his acclaimed albums, pay a visit to his high school, Centennial, and get to know his childhood friend Lil L.

Noisey Bompton is a new documentary made by the people who brought you Noisey Atlanta and Noisey Chiraq. It’s the first episode in an eight part series, NOISEY, on VICE’s upcoming TV network VICELAND. Each episode focuses on a different city, its major stars, and the stories and issues that influence its music scene.

continue reading for parts 2-6


NOISEY Bompton: Kendrick’s Compton and Dinner with Lil L (Part 2)

In the second of six segments of Noisey Bompton, we spend a day with Kendrick’s childhood friend Lil L, who’s pursuing his own musical ambitions. L’s grandma invites us over for a gumbo dinner and shares her experiences as a mother and grandmother who’s lived in Compton since 1965. Then we head to one of the West Side’s many hole-in-the-wall studios, where L gets to work recording with his friend Earl Swavey and producer Larry Jayy.

NOISEY Bompton: Live from Rosecrans (Part 3)

In part three of this episode, Snoop calls in to a radio show hosting several Compton rappers. Zach talks to one of them, Kalifornia King Special, who has found a way to make some extra money on the side. Then, we spend some time on Rosecrans Avenue with Hitta J3, whose song “Do Yo Gudda” has become Compton’s latest dance craze. Surrounded by four generations of family, J3 and his mother share stories of the effects gang life has had on their family and neighborhood.

NOISEY Bompton: Violence Touches All Of Us (Part 4)

“I know a lot of people are saying that it’s getting better, but I’m the one that’s doing the funerals.”

Religion plays an important role alongside stories of Compton gang life in the music of Kendrick Lamar. In the fourth of six segments of Noisey Bompton, we pay a visit to the Greater Zion Family Church and talk to Pastor Michael Fisher about what he thinks the role of gangster rap is in the community and whether crime in Compton is actually receding. Then, we head to Campanella Park, the heart of Piru gang territory, to talk to Kendrick’s friend G. Weed about his experiences growing up Piru and becoming involved in the ongoing back-and-forth with the neighboring Crips. “Can’t nobody make this place safe,” he tells us.

NOISEY Bompton: Trap Kitchen (Part 5)

Gangs may be a part of life in Compton, but that doesn’t mean that gangbangers don’t have the same American Dreams as anyone else. “It’s not for the luxury,” Kendrick Lamar explains. “It’s the circumstances that be. A lot of these cats got kids, man. They don’t want they kids seeing the same lifestyle.”

In the fifth of six segments of Noisey Bompton, Kendrick’s friend Lil L talks to us about his plans to get out of gang life and brings us to Trap Kitchen LA, a catering company run by a Piru and a Crip out of a former trap house. We also get some perspective on the social forces like mass incarceration contributing to the neighborhood environment and get to know the Pirus on the block.

NOISEY Bompton: We’re Gonna Be Alright (Part 6)

“I can’t worry if I’m going to die today.”

The sixth and final installment of Noisey Bompton takes us to a barbershop with a studio in the back room, and shows the length at which people in inner city communities will go to better their lives. Kendrick Lamar expresses how much he loves the city of Compton, and how he plans to take the city with him wherever his success takes him.

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