LAS VEGAS — Let’s face it, Kendrick Lamar’s multilayered, rapid-fire lyrics aren’t the easiest to recite — someone just forgot to tell his fans in Sin City that.
With just three days to go before his major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city drops, K-Dot hit the strip in Las Vegas late Friday night to headline BET’s Music Matters Tour. Kendrick’s show, however, was less of a concert and more of an all-hands-on-deck sing-along. The TDE fire-starter stormed the stage at the sold-out Hard Rock Cafe at about 11:45 p.m. and instantly got the party started. He launched into “Hol’ Up” early, only to have his lyrics thrown back at him by the boisterous crowd who showered the night’s openers, Stalley, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, with love as well.
For Kendrick, though, the gathering were extra giving, mouthing every word to every song. Even early mixtape favorites like “P&P” and “Michael Jordan” drew spirited chants from Lamar’s faithful. Still, none of Kendrick’s material went over greater than the selections from his angst-filled 2011 project Section.80. When Kendrick sung “eight doobies to the face” from his drugged-up ode “A.D.H.D.” his fans responded appropriately, shouting “F— that” with as just as much enthusiasm as their master of ceremonies.
Even the tongue-twisting “Rigamortis” prompted significant crowd participation. “A crowd, a swarm of people singing ’Rigamortis’ is something that’s bugged out and everybody that comes to the show says that exact thing,” Kendrick told MTV News from the confines of a Vegas recording studio a few hours after he left the stage. “I be thinkin’, ’Man, I got some real die-hard, dedicated fans out here — overly dedicated.’ ”
good kid leaked days before its official release, but Kendrick didn’t test the waters much with the new selections, choosing to go with tried and true material instead. Still, he presented album singles “The Recipe” and “Swimming Pools (Drank)” much to the fans delight.
After an hour onstage and a “HiiiPower” acapella, the house lights dimmed and the man of the evening dipped back onstage only to answer the fans’ call for an encore with the rowdy “Cartoon and Cereal.”
When it was all said and done, Kendrick Lamar’s Las Vegas fans put in just as much work as he did performing alongside their hero. Yes, on this night, the good kid from Compton conquered yet another mad city.
What’s your favorite Kendrick Lamar lyric? Let us know in the comments!