DOVER, Delaware — When Kendrick Lamar takes the stage at a festival, anything is possible.
The crowd’s feedback dictates the flow of each show — the Compton MC told MTV News after his performance at the Firefly Festival — making each performance a unique experience.
“I really just play off the crowd. I’ve good chemistry with my DJ, and there’s little things that we do where he knows what song to go to, how much energy to swindle into the next song,” Lamar explained. “I really just feed off the crowd and what side is rocking the most.”
The MC had Firefly bouncing to cuts from his major-label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, including “Backseat Freestyle,” “Money Trees” and “Poetic Justice.”
Lamar went back to 2011’s Section.80 for “A.D.H.D.” and threw in his guest verses on A$AP Rocky’s wildly popular “F—in’ Problems” and Young Jeezy’s “R.I.P. (Remix).”
“Since the sun is out, I wanna take y’all back to California,” he said, presenting his L.A. “Recipe” of “women, weed and weather.”
“I go in with a set mind, but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned,” he told us after the show. “It might get a little too crazy, and I might switch it up — just to keep it that roller coaster ride. Rather than everybody just moshpitting every song, then they’d be tired out toward the end.”
Lamar got the crowd riled up, encouraging them before “m.A.A.d City,” “I don’t care that it’s hot … when this beat drops, I wanna see you do whatever you have to do to get down.”
He later recalled, “It was so live: I did ’m.A.A.d city,’ everybody had their hands up, screaming the words. It was a beautiful thing. I seen it was a crazy crowd … as we poured through, they got more and more and more turned up.”
Lamar deemed his Firefly audience “the livest mother—-ers on this tour,” and he left Delaware with a promise: “No matter how big this gets, I’ll always come back to y’all. I love y’all.”