Kendrick Lamar – The Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

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Kendrick mutha-effin Lamar. I wouldn’t call him my number one because we all know where my heart lies when it comes to my fave, but he’s definitely top 5 when it comes to my favorite rappers of this generation. I’ve always admired Kendrick Lamar since I first got put onto him back in his “Cartoons and Cereal” days, and it’s been straight love for the guy ever since.

As Kendrick grew from his mixtape days and started to release albums, it was a war of love and hate for most. A lot of people love him, and a lot of people can’t stand the non-Good-Kid-MA.A.D.-City-Kendrick. I personally believe that I’ve evolved with him on his musical journey, or one can say I’m more open minded to the way he’s chosen to express himself. Whatever it is, once DAMN. dropped I knew I wasn’t going to allow myself to miss this show.

The first time I saw Kendrick Lamar was back in 2013 at The Staples Center when he opened up for Kanye West on the Yeezus Tour. The Staples Center is a pretty big venue, and the past 2 times I was there I had pretty decent seats… I also had a pretty decent income so I thought it was worth it for the experience. This time around I was just happy to be able to get some seats within the venue without breaking the bank. #TheStruggle

As I made my way to the venue after work, I found out I might be attending the concert alone. It stressed me out to thee max. Not because I didn’t want to go alone, I could have! I’ve done countless things alone before, gone to theme parks other concerts, you name it. But I’m weird in many ways if you haven’t noticed and it threw off my whole day. I didn’t want the ticket to go to waste, and no way in hell was I going to give it to some random stranger to sit next to me all night! So I hit up some friends within the area (Yes, I know. Holy shit I have friends.), and one of them was able to meet up with me.

Because I waited outside the venue to meet up with a friend, I ended up missing Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s set, but didn’t mind since I had already seen him a few months ago. I was just concerned about getting to my seat on time to see Travis Scott’s performance. By the time I entered the venue he was on stage already, and the crowd was so hype.

As he left the stage he legit said the line, “I get those goosebumps every time..” and then the lights came on. It was frustrating as hell because we were all anticipating him to come back on stage but he didn’t…

Kendrick came out from below the stage and kept up the theme of Kung Fu Kenny throughout the show and it was dope. His little video segments involved him “training” and he even had ninjas fighting while he was on stage.

Kendrick is pretty creative to begin with, if you’re familiar with his music videos then you know what I’m talking about. So it was no surprise that his headline show would be just as creative. He had a center stage that rose with lights and he performed a few songs from there. The lights that hung lit up and it was awesome because it was the closest I was going to get to him that night.

When I listen to Kendrick Lamar a lot of his songs make me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to, while others give me an insight to life through his eyes. No matter what I feel or connect with it was amazing to be able to feel that connection with him as he performed at home. He put all his energy into every line, not missing a breath. It was a different level of hype and inspiration that he filled me with. Definitely left with what I like to call a “concert-high” and I’m not talking about the contact high that I left with either. Haha.

Kendrick and Travis Scott ended up not performing “Goosebumps” that night, which was a little disappointing. He did bring out some T.D.E. label members such as Jay Rock who did his verse on “Money Trees”. SZA also came out to perform “Love Galore” which made my night because I wasn’t able to get tickets to her show, so technically I kind of saw her already. Haha. Schoolboy Q came out and performed “That Part” which was dope because Kendrick had performed “Collard Greens” during his set earlier. Overall it was one of the best concerts I’ve attended. I know I say that for every concert, but there’s always something significant about each show. This show truly took me back and I was in awe the whole time of how far Kendrick has come. I just wish I was able to see him in a smaller venue…

I will forever kick myself for not seeing Kendrick Lamar for his To Pimp a Butterfly Tour when he visited small venues. I was devastated when his show at The Observatory sold out because I wanted to feel those vibes within an intimate space. It’s safe to say that with his popularity that grows each day, smaller venues are behind him. I’m happy for him. As a fan, one wants nothing but the best for their favorite creatives but once they’ve moved onto huge venues there’s no way they’ll back peddle. Who knows though.. I pray he’s open minded and does a few from time to time. Until then, vibing with an arena is just as good. I’m lowkey just a brat is all… Hehe. (You can watch my DAMN. Tour Vlog here.)

*All videos/photos are my own, taken from my phone/camera the day of the show. I don’t own any rights to the songs/lyrics within this post.

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