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Arron Afflalo sold Kendrick Lamar a bootleg Jay Z CD in high school

Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo


Kendrick Lamar and Arron Afflalo have been linked for a while — they went to high school together in Compton and Lamar’s 2012 track “Black Boy Fly” included the line “I used to be jealous of Arron Afflalo.” It turns out the veteran guard may have had a hand in kick-starting his career. In an essay for the Players’ Tribune, Afflalo recounts being the go-to guy at his high school for bootlegged CDs, and Kendrick was one of his customers.

This one guy from my school named Kendrick Duckworth was really into hip-hop. He asked me to burn him Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. That’s an all-time classic from ’96. You couldn’t just go to the store and buy all these albums, you know? It would cost too much money. But you could come to me and get it for $5.

Kendrick eventually started making his own music. He got pretty good at it, too. You’ve probably heard of him. He goes by the name Kendrick Lamar.

It’s a pretty cool story. The entire essay is worth reading — it’s a fascinating window into Afflalo’s childhood.