Kendrick Lamar last graced the UK with a tour back in 2013 with his good kid, m.A.A.d city album. Unless you managed to catch a glimpse of him on a festival stage in-between, this was the first time for many British fans to witness the Compton rapper live in all his greatness.
The set was all and nothing at the same time and it worked perfectly. A dramatic production most likely inspired by his time touring with Kanye West subsisted of ninja battles, martial arts, short films, special effects and stage changes. A production more preeminent than any show I’ve ever seen but nothing was enough to grab your attention away from the lyrical master for even a second. A series of “Kung Fu Kenny” intermissions left you with enough time to really appreciate the genius that stood before you.
Following the release of his triumphant fourth studio album DAMN. last spring Lamar kicked off the show with two hits from the album ‘DNA.’ and ‘ELEMENT.’ before hitting the crowd with the funk of his 2015 hit ‘King Kunta’.
With a further seven tracks off the BET & AMA winning album performed it truly helped you to process how his latest masterpiece became the critics favourite album of 2017. DAMN. became 2x platinum certified within months of its release and it was clear to see why as Lamar spat his socially conscious poetry to a flawless standard.
The faultless set of new DAMN. tracks and classic throwbacks shot by as he ended the show on his Grammy winning hit – Humble. Fans yelled the well known lyrics without the accompaniment of a backing track leaving Lamar to soak in the moment as he stood in silence.
When Kendrick did Humble then the beat stopped and the entire arena rapped the words to the song acapella >>>>>>>>>>> pic.twitter.com/cbrLfa7a06
— YouTube: Talk With Tonte (@TalkWithTonte) February 14, 2018
Lamar gave every ounce of energy he had and put it into his performance of pure entertainment executed with finesse which didn’t go unnoticed by the arena of roaring fans. If I had to wait another five years for a return of a UK studio tour like that one, then I would be happy to.
Words by Moodie