Up-and-coming West Coast MC Kendrick Lamar, treated fans at his sold-out show in Hollywood’s Key Club last night (February 10) to a seemingly endless series of surprise guest appearances, including hometown legend Dr. Dre.
Dre went on record this past November to co-sign the Compton spitter and has since invited him into the studio to contribute to the highly-anticipated Detox album.
Kendrick, who was accompanied intermittently on stage by his Black Hippy crew members—Jay Rock, Ab Soul and Schoolboy Q— was also joined by Leimert Park’s own Dom Kennedy and underground king Murs for the “She Needs Me” remix.
XXL Class of 2010 Freshmen Big Sean and J. Cole who, earlier in the evening, wrapped a performance across town at California State University Los Angeles, made it to the venue in time to perform their respective hits “Meant to Be” and “Enchanted.” After their performances, Sean made sure to verbally crown Kendrick as the future of hip-hop as did J. Cole, who has a joint mixtape coming out with the rapper.
“Congrats… and applause to ya’ll, because ya’ll see the future early,” Cole told the audience. “Straight outta Compton.”
The artist formerly known as KDot also brought out fellow Compton MC, Problem while Skeme and Casey Veggies, two artists out of Inglewood who are rising to notoriety as well, were also on hand to show support.
Between songs, Kendrick, with assistance from Schoolboy Q, took a few moments to attempt to mellow out the crowd with his “Groove Sessions.” He brought out a chair and told the audience stories of what his life was like as a young child surrounded by a lot of soulful music and ruthless characters, a la the opening scenes of Menace II Society. The audience laughed at Lamar’s imitation of his father’s old school, slow winding dance moves and ignorantly wise advice. However, the show was so high energy that even the groove sessions weren’t enough to quell the crowd.
Favorites amongst audience members appeared to be “Cut You Off,” “H.O.C.,” and of course, “Michael Jordan” to which the entire Top Dawg Entertainment family (and friends) joined Kendrick on the stage which at this point was wavering, not only under their collective weight but the sheer gravity of the moment.
“On some real shit DJ Quik, Murs, J. Cole, Big Sean… This shit is overwhelming for me man,” said Kendrick after making sure to point out Quik to his father who was seated on the floor above. Quik had been standing side stage in a VIP section with a digital recording device in hand, filming throughout the entire show.
Dr. Dre came on the stage briefly to close out the night by leaving the audience with a few words: “What the fuck is up West Coast? I just came out this way to show some love for the new West Coast hotness, my nigga Kendrick Lamar doing big shit. That’s all I wanted to do was come out, show my face, and represent. I love ya’ll. My shit coming. Detox. West coast stand the fuck up.” —Brooklyne Gipson