GULF SHORES, Alabama — It took a lot more than a missed flight to stop Compton, California, MC Kendrick Lamar from missing his headlining set in the Boom Boom Tent on Saturday night (May 18) at the Hangout Festival.
Yeah, he might have some problems, but this one was solved by hopping a private jet, which got him to the stage about 25 minutes late. He didn’t have to worry about losing the crowd’s attention, though, since one of the biggest audiences of the weekend at the home of EDM and hip-hop (where Macklemore & Ryan Lewis shut it down on Friday night) crushed into the tent and waited patiently for their man.
Lamar gifted them with a laid-back set of songs from his smash breakthrough, good kid, m.A.A.d city and his Section.80 mixtape, including “Hol’ Up” and “A.D.H.D.” He wasted no time getting the crowd into it, as they shouted along to the booze and sex chorus to “P & P,” bringing a smile to his face as he bounced on his toes. Wearing a polo with exotic birds on it and camouflage pants, Lamar let the audience do the heavy lifting again on A$AP Rocky’s hit “F—in’ Problems,” which had a bottom so heavy it felt like it might shake your fillings out.
The relentless bass keep coming for “Money Trees,” and it became clear that this crowd wasn’t strictly there for the party anthems, but knew the lyrics to the whole catalog. Because of his laid-back vibe, Lamar didn’t have to do much to get the room hyped, just a smile here and there and the ladies were ready to jump the barrier and escape the broiling pit at the front of the stage.
The Boom Boom throng weren’t the only ones who were digging on Lamar’s vibe. Even one of the night’s other headliners, Bassnectar was psyched to check in, tweeting, “Weather @ the Bangout is magnifique :) wanna see Kendrick before I play today.”
Weather @ the Bangout is magnifique :) wanna see Kendrick before I play today
— Lorin (@bassnectar) May 18, 2013
But those who were on hand were willing to throw down to get a piece of the rapper, including $hanna$, who wrote, “So I fought a guy twice my size for Kendrick Lamar’s towel and won ok.”
SO I FOUGHT A GUY TWICE MY SIZE FOR KENDRICK LAMAR’S TOWEL AND WON OK
— $ H A N N A $ (@bananaberry321) May 19, 2013
By the time the skittering groove of “Poetic Justice” rolled out, it was clear why Lamar has sold nearly a million copies of kid so far. In a case of life imitating art, many in the audience looked like they were not putting it on when they screamed the refrain to “Swimming Pools (Drank)” back at Kendrick.
Where they were intoxicated by the music or the MC’s relaxed delivery, Lamar made it worth the wait for his new friends at Hangout.