Kendrick Lamar provided amazing moments on Saturday night, closing out the second day of the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. For attendees standing in the sea of 40,000 people being enveloped by the unifying energy that Lamar eminated, it was clear. Kung Fu Kenny's glow is more vibrant and powerful than both Bruce Leroy and Sho-Nuff, and we're all disciples of his musical dojo now.
Stadium status is nothing new for Kendrick. He's rocked crowds packed in football stadiums during his run for To Pimp A Butterfly. But the early performances for DAMN. find the wordsmith at new heights, with more mystique about him. With many fans declaring that DAMN. is the culmination of Kendrick being enshrined onto the Mount Rushmore of rap, the 29-year-old is carrying the weight on his shoulder like Hercules.
Despite the mega stage and two large screens, many fans went above and beyond to get a bird's eye view. Some climbed trees, others stood on flipped over garbage cans, and women sat on guys' shoulders.
The Mike WiLL Made-It banger "DNA" was an explosive start. Later, songs like "Goosebumps" and "Backseat Freestyle" had audience members spitting along. There was also a classic rock star-esque moment during "Pride," when about thousands of fans held up cellphones and lighters, illuminating the night Bayfront Park festival grounds. Hands swayed from left to right as the Compton King yelled "maybe I wasn't there."
There was also a short Kung Fu Kenny visual where a foe was lumped in a karate duel. Fittingly, the new classic "m.A.A.d city" came shortly after with fans yelling "man down, where you from my nigga."
Revolt Chairman Diddy continued the early praise he heaped on the album, watching from the audience and rocking to the music.
The resonant, socially aware pair of "Alright" and "I" caused dancing and jumping in jubilation by the festival faithful, then there was the closer. "Humble" extracted rebellion and aggression from the youthful Rolling Loud crowd. Even attendees who left out early to beat the exit rush rapped along as they left; "my left stroke just went viral."
Kendrick Lamar doesn't begin his DAMN Tour with Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. until July, but as Rolling Loud attendees saw, he's not waiting to continue his winning streak.