BY DAN GARCIA
Kung Fu Kenny earned his black belt (or whichever color belt is highest) last night, as The DAMN. Tour returned to the United Center in Chicago. Marking Kendrick’s second Windy City stop in the past month, Lamar matched the energy levels and vibes from Night 1 in Chicago by delivering an amazing performance. And with supporting sets from ‘Broccoli’ rapper/singer D.R.A.M. and YG, Sunday night was bound to be another memorable one.
After fans were treated to great sets from D.R.A.M. and YG, it was time for King Kendrick to bless his Kingdom. With a retro karate themed video to anticipate his entrance, Kendrick greeted the crowd under his Kung Fu Kenny alias, fighting off a sword yielding ninja as Lamar rapped his DAMN. track, ‘DNA.’.
Throughout the night, Kendrick switched off between tracks from his newest studio LP, where the tour gets its name, with a number of his best tracks throughout his entire catalog. Whether the crowd was singing along to ‘Money Trees’ or Kendrick’s remix to Future’s hit single ‘Mask Off’, Kendrick’s fans new every word from start to finish.
And when Kendrick wasn’t rapping one of his best tracks, he was taking time to become one with his audience. Kendrick was fittingly humble as he spoke about his hoop dreams, growing up in Compton and idolizing Michael Jordan, who of course gave the United Center so many great moments throughout the years. And while Kendrick Lamar won’t ever score a triple double in the UC, since he stopped growing at 5’6″ (which he reminded the crowd), there aren’t a lot of rappers who can do two amazing nights at the historic stadium in just a span of one month.
Highlights of Kendrick Lamar’s set included his performances at the B-stage, which sat in the middle of the arena floor and raised to the sky, which added some pop to his strategically minimal stage design. But the climax of the night came as Kendrick went back-to-back with his hit single, ‘HUMBLE.’. Letting the crowd take the lead the first time around, rapping the track a cappella throughout the arena, but Kendrick took things over for the second performance of the single, giving a great ending to an already memorable night. And if that wasn’t enough, Kendrick treated fans to an encore performance of one of his favorite records from the new LP, ‘GOD.’.
Throughout the night Kendrick Lamar reminded the crowd of his love for Chicago. Raised in Compton by parents from Chicago, Kendrick calls California home but Chicago is very much so in his DNA, and last night was evidence of just that.
Check out the remaining dates on Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Tour at his official website and peep last night’s set list below.
united 07 | 2014 – 2016
Swimming Pools (Drank)
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe