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Watch Anderson .Paak kill it on SNL with Kendrick Lamar, see him at The Fillmore

Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar on SNL | via Billboard

Anderson .Paak debuted on “Saturday Night Live” last night, performing tracks from latest album Oxnard. He was joined by Kendrick Lamar for their collaborative song, “Tints,” followed by a solo (and stunningly choreographed) performance of “Who R U.” You can check out the performances below. Continue reading →

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Made In America round two was a mixed bag, but Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and Alessia Cara saved the day

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On paper, the second day of this year’s Made In America festival was the stronger lineup — it had Kendrick, Nicki, Pusha, Miguel, and those were just the top-billed names. The way it played out was a bit different, with equipment malfunctions (and wardrobe malfunctions) scattered across the day. It felt at a point like we were alternating between artists who had their act incredibly together, and those who did not, and though it was a mixed bag, it was a lot of fun to sort through. Here’s what we heard and saw.
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Made in America adds Kendrick Lamar to the lineup

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After appearances at the BB&T and Firefly earlier this summer, Kendrick Lamar is about to make his return to Philly, this time as the just-announced headliner of next month’s Made in America Festival. The festival announced its initial lineup back in June, and with names like Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Janelle Monae at the top of the bill, the addition of another extremely high-profile headliner just a few weeks before showtime comes as a bit of a surprise — albeit a very welcome one. Made in America also announced last week that several additional acts, including Pusha T, 6ix9ine and Daniel Caesar, will also appear. Continue reading →

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Firefly On The Fly: Sunday sundown with Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Lord Huron, Kamasi Washington, Warren G and more

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

We rolled back into Philadelphia last night around 1 a.m., sweaty and exhausted from the final and hottest day of the 2018 Firefly Music Festival. It started with hip-hop — classic West Coast g-funk originator Warren G , whose signature jams “Regulate” and “Summertime in the LBC” played perfectly in the early afternoon — and ended with hip-hop — the Pulitzer Prize winning Kendrick Lamar, whose set was gripping and participatory, if a bit phoned-in (he twice told the crowd “This is my first time here in Delaware,” despite playing Firefly previously in 2013). Continue reading →

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Kendrick Lamar continues to kill it in Camden

•champion• #topdawgentertainment #kungfukenny #dna #legend #damn

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Pulitzer Kenny.

These words were the first to emblazon the massive screen behind Kendrick Lamar as he kicked off his headlining set at BB&T Pavilion last Friday. This screen, towering atop another that doubled as a platform where he prowled throughout a ferocious rendition of opening salvo “DNA,” both reminded everyone of Lamar’s most historic artistic achievement to date and provided as succinct a description of the night as any Tweet or blurb.

Sure, Lamar’s set was but the last in an electrifying evening of music dubbed the “TDE Championship Tour,” featuring an Avengers-worthy roster of Lamar and label mates from Ab-Soul to Schoolboy Q. But make no mistake. From doctored banners listing each of his albums’ accolades, to a stage set up of checkered flags and a customized Formula 1 race car, to that screen, this evening was ultimately a victory lap for a modern rap legend at the top of both his game and the world. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Harmony Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Wonder Years and more

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video | still from video

Between the ridiculous rain and the Ticketfly “cyber incident” shutdown, it’s been a weird week to be a concertgoing Philadelphian. Don’t let that stop you from getting out and getting to the gig, though. Here are 22 concerts you can see in and around town in the next week, from indie folk true believers The Decemberists to reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment showcase tour. Continue reading →

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Kendrick Lamar, SZA and cohorts from the Top Dawg Entertainment roster bring their summer jam to BB&T

Kendrick Lamar and SZA at Coachella | photo by Emma McIntyre | Getty Images

Tour announcement season is officially upon us! With a handful of star-studded spring/summer lineups already announced (Waxahatchee / Hurray For The Riff Raff / Bedouine at Union Transfer on 4/16; Japanese Breakfast / LVL UP / Radiator Hospital at Union Transfer on 6/3; Dr. Dog / (Sandy) Alex G at The Festival Pier on 6/23), it’s only fitting that one of the best modern day Hip-Hop labels announces the tour of the summer.

Dubbed TDE: The Championship Tour, the label’s all-star lineup enlists Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Lance Skiiiwalker, and stops in Philly on Friday, June 8th at BB&T Pavilion. Continue reading →

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Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, SZA, Alt-J and more will play Firefly 2018

Kendrick Lamar | via Billboard.com

The seventh annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware will feature acclaimed stars of rap and rock, with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys and The Killers in the headlining slots.

The Detroit rapper, otherwise known as Marshall Mathers, released his ninth studio album Revival in 2017, and is making his Firefly debut. Compton’s Lamar is on his second Firefly slot on the strength of last year’s universally praised DAMN. LP – he first appeared in 2013, following good kid, m.A.A.d city. Arctic Monkeys and Killers are returning on players too, having played in 2014 and 2015, respectively. For the former, it’s their first concert in three years (per Pitchfork) and they have an album on the way in 2018 as well.
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Kendrick Lamar brings his intimate dance with good and evil to the stadium

ELEMENT.

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In the fall of 2015, following the release of his critically-acclaimed, platinum-selling album To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar announced that he would bypass the round of huge, multi-city touring that would customarily follow such a successful project. While the decision to forgo a large stadium tour in the wake of Butterfly would have struck many as a misstep, the move was perfect.

Instead, Kendrick hit the road with a mini-tour, “Kunta’s Groove Sessions,” a quick and dirty, eight-city jaunt which found him pulling up on mid-sized theaters throughout the South and on both coasts. The purpose behind this choice was clear: To Pimp A Butterfly’s quirky, complex and jazz inflected hip hop songs required a level of intimacy and even physical proximity to the audience that would be difficult to reproduce in a 20,000 seat arena.

Much like Public Enemy’s Chuck D in the summer of 1988 or Jay-Z on 9/11, 2001, Kendrick Lamar had established himself as the pacesetter of the day. He was / is, the rapper with the loudest, most (culturally) resonant voice. In the months immediately following the reception of Butterfly, it was clear that in the minds of many that he was one of, if not the leading creative voice in mainstream hip-hop. A large part of his emergence as the mouthpiece of his generation has been his ability to relate his own personal fears, hopes and ambitions with those of his audience. Throughout his work, the notion of individual triumph and/or failure at the hands of forces larger than himself has remained a central component to his songs. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kendrick Lamar at Wells Fargo Center, Ages and Ages at Johnny Brenda’s

Kendrick Lamar | album cover via artist’s Facebook page

It’s Kendrick Lamar, people. I think that’s all that needs to be said in persuasion of the hip-hop king’s Wells Fargo Center show tonight. Not only will Kendrick be performing his acclaimed album DAMN., he’ll also be joined by a solid lineup of Travis Scott and D.R.A.M.. So be there or be square. Check out the latest video release from the album for “ELEMENT” below and get tickets and more information here. Continue reading →