Kendrick Lamar Joined by Dr. Dre., Schoolboy Q and Many More at Electrifying ‘Pop Out’ Show in Los Angeles: Concert Review

The vibrant atmosphere outside Kia Forum

Outside the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA on Wednesday afternoon, it was electrifying. The fans were gathered for Kendrick Lamar Juneteenth concert titled “The Pop Out,” headlined by “Ken & Friends.” Instead of a typical hip-hop show, the crowd had all the vibes of 1985 NBA Finals game between Lakers and Celtics, Lamar was the center of attention during this event that showcased how much he is loved by his hometown. This frenzy surrounding Lamar resembled the kind of excitement that occurred during Magic Johnson’s time with the Showtime Lakers. However, Drake; a rival rapper to Lamar received much hate even though he did not appear at that particular concert.

Fans were ready for an intense night at the Kendrick Lamar Juneteenth concert, many wore clothes that directly attacked Drake thereby illustrating their rivalry between these two artists. Street vendors sold pirated T-shirts showing Lamar as an enslaved man leading a rebellion with great influence and might. In these drawings, Drake was being whipped by Lamar, who seemed like a ‘colonizer’. On some occasions, fans wore unofficial T-shirts inspired by Lamar’s album cover Mr Morale & The Big Steppers.” Nevertheless, there was something different about such tops; they had images of Drake as a baby instead of the original image which depicted an infant. This imagery suggested that earlier on in their music feud, Drake had been ‘sonned’ by Lamar.

Unmatched Expectation

The feeling among those present at this juncture merged exhilaration from one of history’s grand sports competitions and unbounded energy common to most massive hip-hop events. The creative and daring outfits worn by supporters spotlighted the simmering tension between Lamar and Drake – setting things up nicely for an unforgettable Juneteenth commemoration in Inglewood at Kia Forum. Recently there has been a dramatic hike in hostilities between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. It is through his track “Not Like Us” that Lamar made a powerful and defining statement in their music feud. Initially, the exchange had been fun and somewhat, even where neither artist emerged as superior to the other. However, everything changed with release of “Not Like Us” which became an instant hit, marking a clear victory for Lamar.

The Impact of “Not Like Us”

“Not Like Us” by Lamar quickly rose to become the biggest record in hip-hop music ever, his lyrical talent was on full display but it also proved his superiority over Drake in their ongoing rivalry. The song was a smash hit that resonated with fans and critics alike, changing the direction of rap forever. Despite all these heated arguments and successful diss tracks, Kendrick Lamar rarely appeared publicly during this clash. He stayed out of sight and let his music do the talking. This added an air of mystique and anticipation about what he might do next.

Kendrick Lamar Performs 'Not Like Us' at The Pop Out Concert - XXL

Kendrick Lamar took center stage on Wednesday night at the Juneteenth concert in what was a crucial moment for him, fans filled up the Forum while others tuned into Amazon Prime just to see Lamar perform live as he launched his new songs that evening. In fact, it wasn’t just a show, but rather an eagerly awaited occasion where fans expect Kendrick to breathe life into his recent records like “Not Like Us.” The anticipation was too much, I can’t wait to watch Lamar perform his most recent tracks. Finally, following a long rivalry experience and recoveries in ranking; fans were ready to celebrate Lamar’s triumphant comeback on stage. This brought together three distinctive episodes of music, first segment showcased West Coast artists under DJ Hed, the second part was curated by Mustard who produced “Not Like Us” while the last one had Kendrick Lamar as its headliner.

DJ Hed’s West Coast Showcase

At the beginning of this show, DJ Hed showcased his talents using a mix of upcoming and popular artists from the West Coast. Among them was Ray Vaughn of Top Dawg Entertainment, which is still very new in the market. Cuzzos – an all female rap group, Blue Bucks Clan – known for their energetic performances as well as Westside Boogie – artists you cannot predict are just some of those that performed on that day. Each one set their tone which was characterized by high energy throughout the night.

Mustard followed with several of his own hits that reached number one on charts. That included Tyga’s “Rack City” and 2 Chainz’ “I’m Different”. Eventually, Dom Kennedy along with Ty Dolla $ign, Steve Lacy, Tyler, the Creator, Roddy Ricch and YG came up on stage where Mustard already performed some big songs; nevertheless it only contributed to more enthusiasm among people, since he invited few other singers for collaboration dropping their biggest records ever for sure.

During Mustard’s session Tyler led fans in singing his hit song “Earfquake.” This created a memorable moment when everyone in attendance sang along together at once, which showed how united they were, however long song lasted in comparison to others that have been mentioned earlier.. Further down the line, Mustard also attributed a segment in his set to remember the late L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle which added touch of sadness to otherwise upbeat event.

Tyler, the Creator’s Singalong and Nipsey Hussle Dedication

In one of Mustard’s subtopics, Tyler led the fans in singing “Earfquake” deeply. The combined energy from all these people who sang together was very memorable. In addition, there was a small part of Mustard’s performance that was devoted to remembering the death of Nipsey Hussle, making it a poignant moment on an otherwise happy day. Lastly, Kendrick Lamar had his last performance during his Juneteenth concert show. As a headliner, Lamar brought out his music powers, thus capping off a night anticipated by many followers with performances they eagerly waited for. This section exhibited his major hits as well as symbolized return of him to stage again, making it great end for unforgettable concert.

What more than having basketball superstars both past (Russell Westbrook) and present (LeBron James), and lucky enough future stars (James Harden and DeMar DeRozan). Equally, other notable musicians who graced the ceremony include The Weeknd, Rick Ross, Hit-Boy. With such known faces in attendance definitely made it quite electrifying starting from early evening till next morning before sun rose.

Kendrick Lamar’s Immediate Impact

The name Kendrick Lamar was not one to keep fans waiting for his now classic battle raps. “O-V-hoe” chants by fans during “Not Like Us” set the stage perfectly for what was about to happen. This intensity continued into the first song of his set, “Euphoria.” He dropped a new verse that was bold and provocative saying: “Give me Tupac’s ring back and I might give you a little respect.” As he rose on a stage platform, Kendrick Lamar began to rap gently while kneeling down with straightforward electrical energy emanating from him. The intensity was palpable as soon as the curtain rose on the stage. In contrast to being an exhibition of lyrical dexterity, it was also a demonstration on how to take control of a stage.


Kendrick Lamar teams on 'pioneering' tour series | IQ Magazine

Lamar took pause and asked, “L.A., we unified with this thing of ours tonight?” In response, there came deafening cheers showing their unity and passion. Being the showman that he is, Lamar replied, “Say less” indicating that he had more things in store for his fans over the course of the night. In this way, Kendrick Lamar let listeners experience music uninterrupted for two hours. The gig featured some of his all-time best songs along with entirely new ones which touched deeply upon those who love them most. These included celebrity athletes and musicians whose presence heightened excitement in what turned out to be one memorable day compared to all others in attendance.

Even after playing numerous tracks off his extensive catalog throughout the performance, energy levels at venue remained high up. Songs like “Element,” “DNA,” and “Humble” got people going wild as day one followers among them soaked in each second. Furthermore, special guests Schoolboy Q, AB-Soul, and Jay Rock attended there reunion making it even much better.

The Black Hippy Reunion

Some of the hits in the reunion medley were “Money Trees,” “Win,” “King’s Dead,” “6:16 In LA,” “Collard Greens,” “That Part,” and “King Kunta.” Each song brought a wave of nostalgia and excitement, showcasing an extraordinary chemistry and talent within the group. The audience witnessed a performance that showcased how strong these artists are together. Additionally, Dr Dre unexpectedly appeared to perform some of his iconic songs like still D.R.E., California Love among others. His appearance on stage represented west coast hip-hop roots and deeply entrenched traditions hence making this event even more significant.

Kendrick Lamar Throws Epic Juneteenth Celebration with Dr. Dre and West  Coast Legends | Eminem.Pro - the biggest and most trusted source of Eminem

However, the highlight of the evening was when he performed the track “Not Like Us”. It has gone down as one of Lamar’s most resonating songs with fans as it connected more than any previous diss record. Lamar paused briefly to talk about what was behind this song. He stressed that its meaning is deeper than that typically found in back and forth battles between rival MCs which may not do more than featuring an euphoric beat along with chorus.

A Message of Change

Kendrick Lamar made it clear that his passionate message through ‘Not Like Us’ is real change for both hip hop as well as Los Angeles communities. At some point, he said in a heavy tone, “It’s bigger than me.” This emotional speech by Lamar underscored why this track means so much to him personally as well as in terms of its direct impact on those who listen to it. Lamar’s voice while speaking had an emotional depth that matched his words. He talked about how music could change people and be used to inspire. It was evident from the huge applause with which the crowd reacted that they were genuine in their support for him and he was not just there to entertain them but calling them to work together as one.

Kendrick Lamar’s performance was not really a musical affair; it was about oneness and standing together. He took “Not Like Us” back on stage six different times with himself and several other artists from all over west coast. The unity displayed in that stage where he had people from different gangs, neighborhoods, even some rivals, stand with him spoke so many silent things. “Since Nipsey died we been fucked,” Kendrick Lamar cried out during his Juneteenth concert performance, “we been fucked up since Kobe died.” These words represented the community’s grief over Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant deaths who are still serving as inspirations till today.

The Future of Uncertain Rivalry

It is yet to be known if Wednesday’s show is Kendrick Lamar’s last shot at Drake. The fact that he performed “Not Like Us” many times showed a clear stand, but everything about the competition remains unclear. Still, this concert will forever remain a watermark in hip-hop history. On a more important note though, this concert might just mark a turnaround moment for West Coast rap which is the genre on which Lamar grew up on and now leads. This night testified how strong West Coast rap still is in America. DJ Hed started off by saying something like; ‘the west has something to say.’

There was such a mix of powerful performances, moving tributes and weighty messages throughout that evening. His leadership both musically and within communities got highlighted when Kendrick Lamar could bring warring factions to one stage as well as feel connected to those who were present at that time. The concert, being a celebration of West Coast hip-hop and an admonition to unity, will be remembered as one of the events that touched the souls of all present there for a very long period.

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