Kendrick Lamar had his final Los Angeles show at Staples Center last night (August 9th) and it was an epic experience. The energy was at an all time high before the show even began. Fans started to line up outside the arena, buy merchandise, and vibe to the multiple radio stations that were set up around the entrances. When the time came and doors opened, fans flooded the arena and began to prepare themselves for what Kendrick Lamar had in store. With it being the last hometown show, there was a slight buzz as to what surprises Kendrick would have up his sleeve. He did after all set high expectations from bringing out artists such as Chance the Rapper and J. Cole on past dates.
Unfortunately, I entered the arena late and missed Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s set, but arrived to my seat just in time to catch Travis Scott. His energy during each track helped set the tone for the show at an all time high, from the lasers to the smoke that were a part of his stage set up. His aesthetic was phenomenal once he began to “fly” on a giant bird that moved across the stage. The backdrop changing from city skylines, to cloud filled skies giving off the illusion that he was indeed flying. As his set ended he teased the crowd with the line, “I get those goosebumps every time..” as he walked off stage and the lights came on. Then the DAMN. curtain dropped.
Some of the crowd left their seats as the stage set up began for Kung Fu Kenny, I can only imagine that it was to buy more drinks or merchandise. As the crowd moved around, I couldn’t help but notice the diverse group of people that were all brought together through music. There were families in attendance, a lot of moms with younger sons decked out in Top Dawg Entertainment (T.D.E.) merch. There were even some moms in DAMN. shirts themselves. It was mind blowing to see all the people that Kenny was able to move in one way or another through his music; because why else were they here?
Then the lights went out. The screams began and the concert intro video started, setting the theme of Kung Fu Kenny right from the get go. Kendrick rose from below, while the stage was covered in smoke starting the show off with DNA. Kendrick played all the classics from “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “Good Kid, MA.A.D. City.” He even brought out fellow T.D.E. member Jay Rock to perform Money Trees. The vibe was truly on another level as the crowd became one with Kendrick to rap along with him.
Before the show ended Kendrick began to express how thankful he was to home, and how he wanted the night to truly be a memorable one. From stage left a figure appeared and it was none other than Big Baby D.R.A.M.. As he performed “Broccoli” the crowd went wild and I thought that was all Kendrick had in store for us. (I was wrong.) The stage behind him began to rise and label sister SZA came before us and the instrumental for “Love Galore” began to play. She sang beautifully, and I hoped that Travis Scott would join her on stage for his verse. (He didn’t.) Last but definitely not least, Kendrick had one more surprise as Schoolboy Q hit the stage to perform “That Part.”
Humble began to play, and even though we all knew the show was about to end, the vibe didn’t change. If anything it grew into something bigger as Kendrick watched us proudly rap it word for word to him. Then it played for the final time, and you can say he rapped it along with us.
Overall the concert was something I hope to never forget. I’m extremely proud of how far Kendrick has come and how he’s touched so many people through his creativeness. A lot of his songs brought back great memories, and helped me create new ones with the friends that accompanied me that night. Although he’s not for everyone, one can’t help but admire what he’s done for hip hop. If you missed out on his recent dates, be sure to try to catch his show before tour ends!