Kendrick Lamar’s star is burning brighter than it has at any point during the 25-year-old rapper’s career. After several critically acclaimed mixtapes and collaborations with industry heavyweights from Dr. Dre to Lil Wayne, Lamar is set to drop a highly anticipated studio album on October 22.
But before fan’s get a chance to hear Good Kid Maad City, Lamar is touring the country with “Black Hippy” members Jay Rocc, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q. Thursday night at the Fillmore, Black Hippy gave Miami a taste of what’s made the group so dominant on the West Coast.
All photos by Natalie Edgar (@itsnatalieedgar)
Decked in Miami Dolphins gear, Jay Rocc was first to take the stage. The crowd seemed a bit apprehensive toward the emcee at first, but Jay Rocc quickly won the crowd’s approval, reminding them before he left the stage that he came from nothing, being born in the projects, and is currently living his wildest dream. He encouraged us all to do the same, and applause erupted from fellow dream-chasers, setting the stage for Ab-Soul’s performance.
Ab-Soul’s existential, laid-back style was a hit from the start. We held three fingers toward the sky for the entire set (the number standing for our third eye). Midway through the set, Ab took a break for a little “medication” before breezing through the remaining setlist and making way for the headliner.
Lamar’s performance was, for lack of a better word, epic. “K-Dot, K-dot, K-dot!!!” the crowd shouted in anticipation before he took the stage. The room exploded when Kendrick came out, the energy overwhelming as fans got their first glimpse of the rapper. K-Dot gave his fans exactly what they wanted, a slew of old school hits from earlier projects with a mix of freestyles and newer songs and, toward the end, a preview of the new album with hits like “The Recipe” and “Swimming Pools (Drank)”. In the process, he showed us all why he’s the total package as an emcee.