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Concert Review: Kendrick Lamar

Man, Kendrick Lamar rapping at concert
Kendrick Lamar performing at Wembley Arena (2018)

Kendrick’s last night in London was always going to be a monumental occasion. The sold out SEC Arena was teeming with expectation prior, with spirits high and Kung Fu Kenny didn’t disappoint.

For James Blake fans, like myself, the concert killed two talented birds with one stone. Opening his set with Life Round Here to get the crowd going, the London born singer played a mixture of well known songs like Retrograde and threw in some new tracks he has been working on. Although James Blake was the opening act, his performance was nothing short of a spectacle. His sultry voice was the main focus, but the big screen highlighted all the parts not normally seen. Observing the effort and work going into creating the beats on the pads and the melodies on the piano meant the fans could properly appreciate his music.

Now for the main act. Kendrick Lamar added a cinematic dimension to his show, imitating a Kung fu movie (subbed in English) which also starred the Compton rapper. He used it to open his set and during the intervals.

He wasted no time pleasing everyone with favourites, rapping DNA. as the first song. His stage presence was a significant part of the entire performance, his energy remained on a high throughout and was reciprocated with crowd participation. Kendrick also didn’t stay put on the stage. A memorable point was Kenny climbing onto a much smaller platform in the middle of the standing section. He was then elevated and surrounded by a cage of lights, where he sang LUST., and surprised most people by playing a classic- Money Trees. He made sure that no matter where you were sitting, everyone got their money’s worth.

Further surprises came in the form of Kendrick dropping his featured verses from Collard Greens with TDE label mate ScHoolboy Q, and Goosebumps by Travis Scott. However, the impressive element was saved till the end of the show when Humble was replayed thrice, with the whole arena shouting the entire second verse in his place. The atmosphere was evidently electric. The encore emitted a different vibe altogether. Kendrick expressed his favouritism towards the track God, before giving a chilled presentation of it.

The Grammy award-winning artist said he would be back touring in London soon, and when he does- I’ll be at the front watching him again.


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