20 Rappers And Hip-Hop Executives With A Key To The City

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  • dr dre key to the city
    It's been a hell of a week for Dr. Dre. The progenitor of G-Funk sold his stake in Beats Electronics, the company he co-founded with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine, to Apple<a title="billion" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/05/dr-dre-beats-sale-to-apple/" target="_blank"> for $3.2 billion last week</a>, and his sudden ascension to the richest man in hip-hop—with wealth estimated just shy of a full billion—has come with its share of perks. One of those is reported to be the <a title="compton" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/05/dr-dre-offered-key-city-of-compton/" target="_blank">Key to the City of Compton</a>, his LA hometown and the setting for such classics as "California Love" with Tupac from the mid-1990s.<br /><br />But Dre's not the only rapper to receive a key to the city—<a title="pitt" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/10/mac-miller-appreciates-the-love-from-his-hometown/" target="_blank">Mac Miller received the Key to Pittsburgh</a> late last year, while Tyler, The Creator wanted the Key to Boulder, Colorado so much that he <a title="staged" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/03/watch-tyler-the-creator-host-a-key-to-the-city-ceremony-in-boulder/" target="_blank">staged his own ceremony</a>, giving himself a fake honorary key. Impressively creative as always, Tyler. From Diddy to Pitbull, Baby Jay to Busdriver, here are 19 times when a member of the hip-hop community has received a Key to The City. Keys open doors. —<a title="danrys" href="https://twitter.com/danrys" target="_blank"><em>Dan Rys</em></a>
  • diddy
    <h2><a title="chicago" href="http://archive.today/MV8fb" target="_blank">Diddy</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Chicago
<br /><b>Date: </b>Oct. 13, 2006
<br /><b>Reason: </b>The city gave him a key and a set of cufflinks for his efforts to give back to inner-city communities.
  • mac miller day
    <h2><a title="mac" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/10/mac-miller-appreciates-the-love-from-his-hometown/" target="_blank"> Mac Miller</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Pittsburgh
<br /><b>Date: </b>Sept. 20, 2013
<br /><b>Reason: </b>A graduate of Taylor Allderdice high school, Mac was awarded for his contributions to music and his dedication to his city.
  • pitbull kodiak alaska
    <h2><a title="kodiak" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2181414/Kodiak-moment-Rapper-Pitbull-visits-remote-Alaskan-island-successful-online-campaign-send-exile.html" target="_blank">Pitbull</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Kodiak, Alaska
<br /><b>Date: </b>July 30, 2012
<br /><b>Reason: </b>After a marketing ploy with WalMart that offered a Pitbull performance in any city who won an online contest turned into an Internet campaign to get Pitbull to go to Alaska, the rapper and the city of Kodiak responded in the best way possible: by playing along and making things fun. When he got to the city, Pitbull received a key and posed with fans and traditional Alutiiq dancers.
<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-T1K9BUq4Y8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • juicy j key to memphis
    <h2><a title="mafia" href="http://lubbockonline.com/stories/033106/aro_033106007.shtml" target="_blank">Three 6 Mafia</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Memphis, Tenn.
<br /><b>Date: </b>April 1, 2006
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Winning an Oscar at the 2006 Academy Awards for the song "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" from the <em>Hustle & Flow</em> soundtrack.
  • david banner key city
    <h2><a title="banner" href="http://archive.clarionledger.com/videonetwork/2191335759001/Entertainer-David-Banner-on-importance-of-reading" target="_blank">David Banner</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Jackson, Miss.
<br /><b>Date: </b>Feb. 27, 2008
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Promoting literacy and repping his hometown in Mississippi through his music.
  • lil kim key miami
    <h2>Lil Kim</h2>
<b>City: </b>Miami
<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 9, 2004
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Difficult to find someone who received a key to a city in Florida while in New York under indictment, but there you have it.
  • 50 cent
    <h2><a title="50" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/xxl-magazine/2007/10/bridgeport-conn-mayor-declares-today-%E2%80%9C50-cent-day%E2%80%9D/" target="_blank">50 Cent</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Bridgeport, Conn.
<br /><b>Date: </b>Oct. 12, 2007
<br /><b>Reason: </b>His work with kids and the fact that he owns, or at least did then, a mansion in the city, it seems.
  • baby jay key houston
    <h2><a title="baby" href="http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/education&amp;id=6151730" target="_blank">Baby Jay</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Houston, Texas
<br /><b>Date: </b>May 16, 2008
<br /><b>Reason: </b>In a city that has had its share of upright citizens within the hip-hop community—without delving in too deep, Bun B and Trae Tha Truth come immediately to mind—it was 17-year-old rapper Baby Jay who was the first to receive a key to the city of Houston. The teenager was honored for his positive message and straight-A academic performance.
  • bow wow
    <h2><a title="bow" href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/77442/beware-bow-wow-is-back" target="_blank">Bow Wow</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Camden, NJ
<br /><b>Date: </b>2002
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Despite a significant amount of success at a nearly-unprecedented age, it really came down to the then-14-year-old's mainstream appeal. Right? If not, then Camden has more problems than we'd feared.
  • bun b tux
    <h2><a title="houston" href="http://dayandadream.com/2011/08/29/bun-b-to-be-honored-with-bun-b-day-in-houston/" target="_blank">Bun B</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Houston
<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 30, 2011
<br /><b>Reason: </b>In addition to being one of hip-hop's kindest people and most respected lyricists, Bun B is also a professor at Rice University and an advocate for his state and his city.
  • kevin liles
    <h2><a title="liles" href="http://www2.citypaper.com/story.asp?id=11211" target="_blank">Kevin Liles</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Baltimore
<br /><b>Date: </b>Nov. 16, 2005
<br /><b>Reason: </b>A seasoned executive in the music business and an author to boot, Liles was recognized for pushing hip-hop forward in directions it had never entered before.
  • diddy vegas
    <h2><a title="vegas" href="http://www.prlog.org/10664292-clark-county-commisioner-presents-sean-diddy-combs-with-key-to-the-city-after-lumiere-elite-event.html" target="_blank">Diddy</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Las Vegas
<br /><b>Date: </b>May 5, 2010
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Diddy threw an after party following a Floyd Mayweather/Sugar Shane Mosley boxing match, and they handed him a key. Not much more you need to do in Las Vegas, it seems.
  • ludacris day
    <h2><a title="luda" href="http://www.fantasymusicleague.com/artist.php?id=5739" target="_blank">Ludacris</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Atlanta
<br /><b>Date: </b>June 7, 2004
<br /><b>Reason: </b>His work through his own Ludacris Foundation, which provides scholarships and helps inner city youth.
  • master p key memphis
    <h2><a title="master" href="http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.7452/title.memphis-mayor-presents-master-p-with-key-to-the-city" target="_blank">Master P</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Memphis, Tenn.
<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 1, 2008
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Long the philanthropist and businessman, Master P made his name in the New Orleans music scene in the late 1990s, but it was Memphis who honored him in 2008 for his work within the Tennessee community. Percy Miller handed out school supplies to the elementary and middle school students who attended the event as well.
  • diddy miami beach
    <h2><a title="diddy" href="http://books.google.com/books?id=YCgEAAAAMBAJ&amp;pg=PA148&amp;lpg=PA148&amp;dq=rapper+given+%22key+to+the+city%22&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=bWsfD3GmCT&amp;sig=CBVgc_RHXeU6y4cBloFtipWbnOQ&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=bvxyU_jBGpSmsQSpnYHoCQ&amp;ved=0CCgQ6AEwADhu#v=onepage&amp;q=rapper%20given%20%22key%20to%20the%20city%22&amp;f=false" target="_blank">Diddy</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Miami Beach
<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 30, 1999
<br /><b>Reason: </b>If you ball out with enough money, Miami seems like the place to grab your honorary key.
  • pitbull key miami
    <h2><a title="miami" href="http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Change-the-Locks-Pitbull-Gets-Keys-to-Miami-53686057.html" target="_blank">Pitbull</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Miami
<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 20, 2009
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Mr. 305 has long been a vocal advocate for his city, and has stuck up for it and its residents on more than one occasion. In addition to being one of the most successful businessmen in hip-hop, he's also gone to war with Lil Wayne, among others, to protect its reputation.
  • public enemy key city
    <h2><a title="enemy" href="http://www.thetimesnews.com/lifestyles/entertainment/public-enemy-gets-a-key-to-durham-1.159860" target="_blank">Public Enemy</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Durham, North Carolina
<br /><b>Date: </b>June 16, 2013
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Induction into the Rock 'N Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013 and their FreeAir initiative, dedicated to preserving and promoting local radio stations across the country.
  • rah digga
    <h2><a title="digga" href="http://www.mtv.com/news/1428090/rah-digga-gets-hometown-key-unleashes-harriet/" target="_blank">Rah Digga</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Newark, New Jersey
<br /><b>Date: </b>April 4, 2000
<br /><b>Reason: </b>The former protege of Busta Rhymes was honored by her city for her contributions to music, having made quite a name for herself in the industry to that point.
  • busdriver key to avalon
    <h2><a title="busdriver" href="http://grandgood.com/2008/07/18/busdriver-honored-by-the-borough-of-avalon-pa-video/" target="_blank">Busdriver</a></h2>
<b>City: </b>Avalon, Penn.
<br /><b>Date: </b>July 18, 2008
<br /><b>Reason: </b>Honestly? It's a decent question. But there were plenty of little leaguers and old people there, so I'm sure it was fun for the whole family.
  • fetty-wap-featured-1
    Photo Credit: Tom Medvedich<br /><br /><h2><a title="fetty" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/08/fetty-wap-performs-free-concert-high-school-kids-hometown/" target="_blank">Fetty Wap</a></h2><b>City: </b>Patterson, N.J.<br /><b>Date: </b>Aug. 27, 2015<br /><b>Reason: </b>Fetty may still be a young artist—his <a title="debut" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/08/fetty-wap-drops-cover-debut-album/" target="_blank">debut album</a> is less than a month away—but he's already <a title="records" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/08/fetty-wap-first-four-singles-are-all-in-the-billboard-top-ten/" target="_blank">broken Billboard chart records</a> and made it to the cover of the <a title="freshman" href="http://freshmen.xxlmag.com/" target="_blank">2015 <em>XXL</em> Freshman issue</a>. But he's also done a lot to give back to his hometown of Paterson and in late August he performed a back to school concert for Paterson high schoolers, after which Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres presented the rising rapper with the key to the city.

Previously: Dr. Dre Offered Key To The City Of Compton
27 Hip-Hop Songs About Rappers Making Trillions
63 Hip-Hop Songs About Rappers Making Billions
Dr. Dre Confirms Beats Sale To Apple And Boasts He’s The First Billionaire In Hip-Hop

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