CHICAGO — The Windy City came out in force, with fans braving frigidly low temperatures to catch a glimpse of hometown hero Kanye West as he closed out the second of two Chicago shows.
With an opening set from Kendrick Lamar, who effortlessly breezed through good kid, m.A.A.d city hits, the night felt like a homecoming for all in attendance. Going through a set list that included “Money Trees,” “Sing About Me,” “The Recipe” and “Compton,” Lamar gave props to the Chicago crowd for being the “first to accept him” when he performed in Chi-town in the beginning of his career. The west coast MC also said his parents were from the south side of the city, calling it his second home to the delight of the United Center faithful.
But the night clearly belonged to the headlining West, who began his two-hour-plus set with energetic renditions of “On Sight” and “New Slaves” from his latest full-length offering, Yeezus. About an hour in, the rapper brought out an MPC 3000 and began constructing the foundation for his track “Runaway.”
Instead of first performing the track in its entirety, ‘Ye improvised the lyrics, making it more personal for the occasion. “We should’ve, never ever let, Michael Jordan play for the Wizards,” he sang, causing the crowd to erupt. West related the lyrics to his claim that Jordan was denied ownership in the Chicago Bulls, drawing a parallel to himself being denied access to certain industries, including fashion.
West admitted that he recently spoke to and was given advice by Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan. He then proceeded to tell the crowd how he wasn’t apologetic for anything, saying, “I’m not like Jay-Z; that’s my big brother. I’m not like Oprah; that’s my big sister,” he said, before adding, “but with all due respect, I’m gonna turn up on these
The G.O.O.D Music leader continued to run through hits like “Good Life,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “All Of The Lights” and “Heartless.” But the highlight of the night, while winding down his set, was his performance of “Homecoming,” whose Chicago-related lyrics were seemingly echoed word-for-word by the enthusiastic crowd. As West exited to a rousing ovation, the night proved that the city that raised the multi-platinum superstar still has love for its native son.