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Last night the Electric Ballroom witnessed the new frontier of West Coast Hiphop, the new face of Lyrical wizardry. Kendrick Lamar has been patiently waiting over the last few years, after several E.P’s, mixtapes, and collaborations, last night his debut UK show was another legendary milestone in his career.
‘F*ck Your Ethnicity’ is one of the best creative Hip-Hop tracks to drop in this era of Internet mixtape Wizardry. Even though it is close to 12 months old, it is still the best kept secret for many, but not for the 1000+ capacity crowd last night. Kendrick started the set with this track to an overwhelming response, the entire crowd new the track word for word, the immense crowd reaction actually rivalled the sound of the venue, and it was like this for the duration of the show.
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In 2010 Roy was posting his debut E.P., we put him down as one to watch, I was blazing his music on 1xtra, Kendrick took us around L.A. talking about how he wanted to get put on, hopes of working with the good Dr. 2 years later he is in the UK…..tearing the stage to pieces with ease.
J Cole pretty much set the precedent for the ‘new artist, killing the internet, no mainstream airplay, no release date, but legendary debut showcase’. Last night rivalled that first J Cole moment in terms of the anticipation, appreciation shown by the fans or as Kendrick likes to say ‘Family’.
After blazing through his core set, he asked the crowd what they wanted to hear, and they demanded…….thats right colectively demanded that he perform ‘Rigamortis’, ‘Spiteful Chant’ and more. Halfway through the set, I was gassed for him.
I caught up with him moments before the show and it looked like he needed to sleep.
He walked on stage, and delivered a killer debut performance that wasn’t centred around West Coast stereotypes, and he wasn’t relying on the Dr Dre connection at all.
It’s only when he performed ‘The Recipe’ at the end of the set that you recall that the Dre/Lamar connection exists.
I caught up with him immediately after the show and he wasn’t gassed, or surprised by the audience reaction, if anything it seemed like he was more focused, embraced in the air of accomplishment that he was able to give the fans that they wanted and then some. He said he kept his hoodie on throughout the show, so that he could feel what the audience were feeling, and he’s looking forward to doing it again tonight.
Try and get a ticket for tonight, otherwise you will be feel like a plum when the ‘Were you there….’ discussions take place years from now.
Watch out for the interview dropping soon, big up Kendrick, the TDE fam, and London for creating another classic Hip-Hop night.