LOS ANGELES — The holidays came early in California as Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, the Weeknd and Def Jam’s newly-signed Trinidad James rocked the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City on Friday night for Power 106’s annual Cali Christmas concert.
There was no shortage of hits as tracks like “Ima Boss,” “Dance (A$$),” “No Lie” and everyone’s new favorite, “All Gold Everything,” were all performed properly, but it was 2012’s breakout star and hometown hero Kendrick Lamar who stole the show with a Hiii Powered-performance.
Shortly after 11 p.m. PT, K-Dot stormed the stage rapping along to his Young Jeezy collaboration “Westside, Right On Time,” and though the Snowman wasn’t in attendance, Kendrick’s guest list was both long and star-studded. After spitting through “The Recipe,” Lamar opened the floodgates, first bringing Ab-Soul onstage for “P&P” and then J. Cole two songs later to do his own Missy Elliott collaboration, “Nobody’s Perfect.”
Schoolboy Q would perform “Hands on the Wheel” and Jay Rock came out to deliver his verse on “Money Trees,” but the crowd worked themselves into an absolute frenzy when Bay Area rap legend E-40 bounced out to his party-starter “Function.”
Even Kendrick’s guests had guests. As soon as the DJ dropped the beat for 40’s 2010 single “Bitch,” the slang-master yelled out, “$hort, holla at ’em” and bam, Too $hort jumped out right on cue. The faithful rap flock of course greeted him with screams of adoration and while his cameo was brief the impact turned K-Dot’s set up another level.
With the crowd hanging onto his every word, Lamar continued to roll out tracks from his gold-selling debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city. He tore through the Hit-Boy-produced “Backseat Freestyle” and then chastised a fan named Lisa for talking on her phone during his concert before cleverly launching into “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”
Fans mouthed every word to the infectious hook and then bounced along to the dripping drums of “Poetic Justice,” but the Top Dawg rapper saved his best trick for last. First there was an a capella recital of his 2010 mixtape banger “Michael Jordan.” “I’m too much for these n—as, I’m three much for these ho’s/ Wayne told me that and that’s just how it goes,” he rhymed right before Lil Wayne ran out onstage wearing a Trukfit hoodie and colorful board shorts, shouting the words to his latest single “No Worries.”
The shocked fans threw their hands high as Weezy hopped from side to side and rapped: “You see Tunechi right there, that’s Kendrick right there.”
By the time K-Dot closed with his alcoholic ode “Swimming Pools (Drank),” it was clear that he had elevated himself from a rap rookie to something much greater. All hail King Kendrick.
Who was your favorite performer at Power 106’s Cali Christmas? Let us know in the comments!