Kobe Bryant has challenged Kendrick Lamar to offer support for a high school's music education program. Bryant issue the public challenge on Instagram Thursday, urging Lamar's "record label" to "revolutionize" the music program at Centennial High School. Though Bryan didn't specific to which Centennial High School he was referring, fans have pointed to the Centennial in Compton, California.
Under the #MambaMentality hashtag Thursday, a.k.a. Kobe Bryant Day, Bryant also issued challenges to Richard Sherman, Demar Derozan, Allyson Felix, and Isaiah Thomas. Aug. 24 was designated as Kobe Bryant Day by the Los Angeles City Council last year. The date was selected as a nod to the retired player's Lakers jersey numbers.
Thursday also marks the debut of a new mid Nike Kobe A.D. model. The Mamba Mentality-inspired pack features a range of color options—including red, purple, and yellow—intended to correspond with different characteristics. Purple, for example, is meant to exemplify fearlessness.
In April, the Huffington Post reported that the most recent Nation's Report Card—a national education assessment conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics—found that today's students are struggling in the arts. Sadly, when schools face budget cuts, arts courses (including music education) are often the first on the chopping block.
"The losses inflicted by cutting music from the curriculum will surely visit children from low-income families disproportionately," James S. Catterall, a professor in UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies program, told PBS way back in 2013. While private instruction can be obtained for some students, Catterall added, in-school music programs have proven to be "an effective and efficient" method of cultivating musical skills "for all children."
Kendrick Lamar hasn't publicly responded to Kobe Bryant's challenge yet, but we're sure his response will bring good news for Centennial High School students.