Kendrick Lamar: Our Verdict!

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2018
  • Event review

    We’re going to stick our necks on the line and say that Kendrick Lamar’s show last Friday night WILL go down as one of the greatest live performances we’ll see here in Brum this year! The Compton rapper absolutely smashed it!

    It’s been a world-wind start to 2018 for King Kenny and there’s no sign of things slowing down. He picked up four accolades at this year’s GRAMMY Awards including Best Rap Album, Black Panther, the new Marvel film he’s created the soundtrack for, is set to break all records at the box office and now, his DAMN Tour will surely go down in history.

    KL 2

    Before Kung Fu Kenny took to the stage, English singer song-writer, James Blake, warmed up the Birmingham crowd with a intimate, synthy set. Blake oozed charisma and with just two other on stage, his presence was clear for all see. He finished his set on Retrograde, arguably his best-known and most popular song…and it down a treat.

    It’s no real shock when artists take to the stage later than the advertised timings; things backstage can change, preparation sometimes takes a bit longer than planned or they’re generally just a bit late - but not Kendrick Lamar - as soon as the clock hit 8:45pm, the lights dimmed and BOOM Kendrick was in the building.

    “I got, I got, I got, I got” echoed around the around as King Kenny kicked off the show with DNA, a standout banger from the DAMN album. The crowd went nuts!!

    Kendrick performed the majority of his DAMN album including ELEMENT, LOYALTY (minus Rhi-Rhi) and probably the biggest hit off the album. HUMBLE (we’ll talk more about this later), but what impressed me the most is that he injected a handful of classics into his set.

    You ready of this? Kendrick, on top of the hits from DAMN, performed untitled 07 | 2014 - 2016, King Kunta, Alright, Don’t Kill My Vibe, m.A.A.d city and Swimming Pools - he called out his “Day 1 Fans” before going in on some of the most iconic tracks he’s produced...and it seemed like the majority present were certainly Day 1 Kendrick fans.

    The show had a Japanese / anime / street fighter theme with short videos of Kung Fu Kenny living up to his nickname after battling demons on the screen…which actually over spilled onto the stage andsaw Lamar rapping his way through a sword fight. Impressive, right?

    Okay, back to HUMBLE. Personally, this was the highlight of the show. Watching over 13,000 Brummies go bar-for-bar with the Compton rapper, to the point where he put the mic down and let the crowd just chant the whole song back to him, is something i'll never forget. Kendrick was loving it! As the music stopped, Lamar acted as conductor as you lot absolutely belted out every single word. He took a quick bow, the track restarted and then Kendrick went in on the beat!

    Kendrick ended the set with GOD another huge hit off his DAMN LP - and it was literally the perfect way to end the perfect performance. Kendrick was made to do this and you can tell that he doesn't take his success for granted, often thanking the crowd, his family and his friends for where he is now.

    It was incredible.


    Kendrick Lamar will go down as one of the greatest rappers of all time, so watching him live was an absolute honour. Hopefully we can open our doors to him again in the future, if so, you won't want to miss it. #GOAT

    Reviewed by   Todd Newton