I’ve seen this guy perform 3 times now, but each time is just as good as the other, because Kendrick Lamar brings such a dynamic energy to his performances that gets the crowd energized and can keep them going for hours on end if he wanted to. The last time I saw him, it was at Soundset with my friend Devon. This time, he was coming up here with BET for the ‘Music Matters Tour’. One of his stops had already sparked some controversy, because in North Carolina, he brought out J.Cole…and, well you know the rest.

On the bill was supposed to be Ab-Soul & Jay Rock (ScHoolboy Q has his issues with Canadian border patrol), so I was more excited about the show now, because I hadn’t seen Jay Rock in concert, and I wanted to hear some songs performed from Control System. I’m a simple man, I don’t ask for much.

The first thing I noticed about the crowd this year compared to last year’s performance was that there were way more people. See what happens in a year? It’s crazy, but I’m happy for Kendrick’s success. Section.80 really put him on the radar for a lot of people, and I’m happy that I’ve talked to have been listening to them more since I introduced them to his music. Now…I’m just waiting for that album, as most of the Hip Hop World is.

I’ve seen Rich Kidd perform more than any other Toronto artist out right now. The man..is just…everywhere. He works hard, he loves what he does, and it’s always a good time. He performed a new song called ‘Sike’, and it got crazy. Rich Kidd always delivers, and I always seem to be repeating myself when I say that, but it’s the truth. Check out his music. Like for real for real (I should do a profile…hmm).

Next to perform (after getting the crowd energetic with the host out from D.C, Jae Murphy) was Fly Union (Hip hop group out of Ohio). I was introduced to them through an American twitter follower of mine, and they have a smooth sound, and are a dope group. They were up here earlier this year on their own for a show, but I didn’t get a chance to get out there. They performed tracks from ‘TGTC’ & ‘Zenith’ (Shout out to Nathaniel, for putting me on to that mixtape). Toronto crowds aren’t the easiest to rock with, because 90% (or higher) just want the main act(s) to perform and that’s it. No time for the local love, it seems (although Fly Union isn’t local). They had a cool set nonetheless.

In a weird turn of events, right afterwards, Kendrick Lamar showed up and everyone was like “whaaaaat?” I was just yelling out absurd chants like “BLACK LIP BASTARRRRD” and “SOULO HOE!” But nope, this guy Kendrick comes out and goes into Section.80 songs (which is what I was waiting to hear). The cool thing about Kendrick’s set-up to other songs is that he has little stories and scenarios he likes to play around with, and he loves to get the crowd into the performance with him. Example, he went over to the side of the stage, and he addressed this girl named Michelle. He asked her if she had a man…Kendrick says, “She hesitated, Toronto. I don’t know.” BOOKED! So then he addresses the crowd and says “Bye Michelle, Hi Tammy”, then boom – Tammy’s Song.

K.Dot

So, from Section.80, he performed: F*ck Your Ethnicity, Hol Up, A.D.H.D, Rigamortus, Ronald Reagan Era, Blow My High, The Spiteful Chant, and also went into his older collection by performing Michael Jordan, Look Out For Detox, She Needs Me, and Cut You Off. Of course he couldn’t finish off the night without performing his singles for his album, Cartoons & Cereal & The Recipe (which pretty much sounds exactly like the song when he did Dr. Dre’s voice). Oh yes, and in inevitable ‘Drake Appearance’, which was pretty damn obvious, but whatever. I would have traded that an Ab-Soul appearance, however. That was the one oddity of the show. He performed ‘HYFR’, which always gets the crowd hype, so whatever, get hype to it, but still. Get off the stage, Aubrey.

The concert was great. I was glad to have gone with familiar faces and new faces as well. A definite turnaround in a year, and this will pretty much just generate more fans for him. BUT, I’m upset that neither Jay Rock and Ab-Soul weren’t there. It would have made the show 100x better, but I’m not even mad. It happens, but Kendrick still made up for the loss. Until the next show,

That’s My Word & It STiXX