via Jay Rock's Instagram
Jay Rock was honored by his hometown in a major way on Friday (May 24).
To kick off the holiday weekend, the Grammy Award-winning rapper received the key to the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. L.A. Councilman Joe Buscaino bestowed Rock with the key during a public ceremony at the Nickerson Gardens Community Center. Friends, family and friends of the rapper attended to show their support. The councilman also declared May 24 "Jay Rock Day" in Watts.
"For the last 12 years, Jay Rock has done so much, so much to lift himself, Kendrick [Lamar], and TDE into the stratosphere of global music influencers. Now they're not called 'Top Dawg' for nothing," Buscaino said during the ceremony. "And it all started here: 5-5-2, in Nickerson Gardens in Watts. We love you, Jay Rock, for your contributions to music, culture, and, most importantly, to this community."
The TDE artist then stepped to the mic and began thanking God, his family, the Top Dawg Entertainment squad, and his community.
"To my homeboys, my homegirls: Man, I love y'all—giving me support since day one. If it weren't for y'all, I wouldn't be right here," he said. "[...] And to my young boys out here that's trying to do the music, that's pursuing y'all's dreams: Don't give up, man. This a prime example right here."
It was revealed during the ceremony that Jay Rock, along with TDE and Lyft, is donating $5,000 to the Nickerson Gardens Community Center.
"I love Nipsey, man. RIP Nip Hussle. We went to the same middle school together," he said. "[...] Me and Nip Hussle, our first tour we ever went on was with The Game. We went to like, 30-40 cities together. I'm a Blood, he's a Crip. My homies was with his homies; we were together every day [...] Everybody come together. Red and blue make green, baby."