Quavo and YFN Lucci once bragged that they had the key to streets, an asset arguably more valuable than the ceremonial key to the city handed out to civic heroes by local mayors. A key to the city is little more than an acknowledgement of success and service. It represents nothing and everything.
In the past month, Fabolous and Big Sean received keys to their respective hometowns. They are not the first rappers to formally earn the defeater of municipal padlocks. Click through the image gallery to learn about 13 other artists and groups that received a key to the city.
“Tell whoever got it lock that Nipsey Hussle stole the key” – Nipsey Hussle
Diddy // Miami, Chicago, and Las Vegas
Diddy has three keys to different cities. In 1999, he was awarded the key to Miami. In 2006, he was awarded the key to Chicago for his efforts to give back to inner-city communities. In 2010, he was awarded they key to Las Vegas after the Floyd Mayweather/Shane Mosley boxing match.
Drake // Toronto, ON // Feb 12, 2016
After hosting the 2016 All-Star Weekend, the 6ix God was granted the key to the city from Mayor John Tory for his unconditional support and love for Toronto. Mayor Tory praised Drake in a statement, saying, “Drake is Toronto’s biggest champion: in his music, his mentorship of local talent and his presence on the world stage. He makes people feel good about themselves and their city, and he has drawn the eyes of the world to Toronto. He deserves our city’s recognition and our pride and I’m honored to give him the Key to the City.”
“I might get a key to the city and give it to Wayne” – Drake, “Summer Sixteen”
Pitbull // Miami & Kodiak, AK
Pitbull owns two municipal keys, one to the city of Miami and one to the city of Kodiak, Alaska. Mr. 305 was awarded the key to Miami in August 2008 for his work as a vocal advocate and representative of South Florida. He received the key to Kodiak in July 2012 as a part of a WalMart marketing ploy in which he performed in the city alongside traditional Alutiiq dancers.
Kendrick Lamar // Compton, CA // Feb 13, 2016
Kendrick was given the key to the Compton by Mayor Aya Brown. The ceremony included a choir of students performing “i” and “Alright.” In a statement, Mayor Brown said that Lamar is “a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation. His message challenges the status quo and motivates listeners to rethink our society’s institutions.”
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DJ Khaled // Miami, FL // October 9, 2015
Keeper of the Keys DJ Khaled was honored with the key to Miami from Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado for his donations to Miami’s Citrus Grove Middle School’s music department during the Revolt Music Conference.
Thank you Mayor Levine! Thank you for the keys🔑 to MIAMI BEACH thank you I’m very grateful MIAMI I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you @iamdiddy for the kind great words and congrats another @revolttv weekend… #WETHEBEST @wethebestmusic @epicrecords @rocnation @ciroc @99jamz …🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🙏🏽🔑🙏🏽🦁
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Lil Wayne // Lafayette, LA // April 18, 2016
Lil Wayne was given the key to the city of Lafayette, Louisiana by Mayor Joel Robideaux before taking the stage for his Tidal exclusive event at the Cajundome.
“We appreciate what you and TIDAL have done on behalf of the philanthropic efforts and we’re so proud of our Ragin’ Cajuns, Alpha Phi Alpha, for what they did and we want to present to you a very special key to the city that we made specifically for you,” said Robideaux.
Mac Miller // Pittsburgh, PA on September 20, 2013
Not only did Mac Miller receive the key to Pittsburgh at the tender age of 21, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl also declared September 20th Mac Miller Day.
“Brand new home, I think I made it / Key to the city, I keep to open the gates with” — Mac Miller, “Here We Go”
Ludacris // Atlanta, GA // June 7th, 2004
Ludacris was awarded the key to ATL for his work through the Ludacris Foundation, which promotes education, leadership, and healthy living to inner city youth, and for his generous donations to Atlanta hospitals.
David Banner // Jackson, MS // Feb 27, 2007
David Banner’s contributions to the world of hip-hop have been major, so major that he’s the only rapper to be inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Banner was honored with the key to the city for promoting literacy via his event “Reading Revolution: Black Males Achieving Success Through Literacy” and for his community services after Hurricane Katrina.
Master P // Memphis, Tennessee // Aug 1, 2008
While Master P made a name for himself in the New Orleans music scene in the late ’90s, Memphis bestowed him with a key to the city for his work in the Tennessee community, including “Let The Kids Grow Day,” in which he handed out school supplies to Memphis elementary and middle school kids.
50 Cent // Bridgeport, CT // Oct 12, 2007
While filming “Righteous Kill” with Al Pacino and Robert Deniro in Bridgeport, 50 Cent presented the Hall Neighborhood House with a hefty check. His reward: a key to Bridgeport, and the creation of the holiday “50 Cent Day” on October 11th.
Three 6 Mafia // Memphis // April 1, 2006
One month after taking home the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” Three 6 Mafia was presented with the the Memphis equivalent of a star on Hollywood Boulevard during a reception at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Bun B // Houston // Aug 30, 2011
Houston legend Bun B was awarded the key to the city by Mayor Annise Parker at a ceremony at City Council. While accepting the honor, he took the opportunity to express his belief that the city government should pay more attention to youth after-school programs and offered his services to lift up the city’s children.