2012 was a pretty big year for hip-hop’s newest saviour Kendrick Lamar and fresh from the release of his album Good Kid, M.A.A.D city he’s back in the UK, on the promotion trail during the cold snap.
KDot, complete with his now trademark black leather shirt, hit the stage to soulful sounds of the intro to Art of Peer Pressure and immediately had the crowd eating out of his hands.The setlist contained tracks from all three of his major LP’s; the aforementioned Good Kid, Section 80 and Overly Dedicated and this definitely gave it an authentic feel, rather than just performing the mainstream hits from his major label debut.
Hip-hop’s newest saviour kept it simple, dressed in in all black and barely any bling, save for the gold watch on his wrist. His DJ supplied him with the hits and Kendrick delivered without the need for any unnecessary hype men (a pet peeve of mine) or shouting over a recording of himself (another pet peeve of mine).
Kendrick knows his fanbase, acknowledging those overly dedicated (pun intended) fans that have been with him from day one. This allowed him a variety of tracks to choose from switching from the Janet Jackson sampling ‘Poetic Justice’ to the jazzy, soulful, sleeper hit ‘A.D.H.D’.
Kendrick’s lyrical dexterity is what makes him one of the most exciting rappers around and this was demonstrated with ease throughout the show, switching up the ferocious flow on ‘Backseat Freestyle’ to slowing it right back down on ‘Don’t Blow My High’, which meant that the show never got boring.
In fact, Kendrick kept it interesting between songs through regular crowd interaction and even picking on one particular member of the crowd who didn’t quite seem to be feeling the show as much as everyone else in the room, and then proceeded to launch into ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’. Kinda apt…
I have a new found respect for Kendrick Lamar. He’s an artist who genuinely cares about his craft and in his show he catered to his hardcore fans and also the new fans who’ve just jumped on the wave (yeah, that’s probably me) without compromising. He kept the old fans happy by giving them what they want, while simultaneously giving the newbies a lesson on his evolution to see how the buzz started.