Heralded as the “Prince of Compton,” Kendrick Lamar is practically a living legend. Listening to his newest album, I knew one thing for sure. I had to see him in concert. To my accommodation, Kendrick was coming to the Oakland Arena on September 2, and I had just recently gotten into the opening act, Baby Keem. The stars had aligned. After waiting in an embarrassingly long waiting room, I finally got three floor tickets to the show, and I would take my close friends Destiny Branch and Maria Edrisinghe.
Walking into Oakland Arena, the energy was high. Opening for the show was Tanna Leone; although I didn’t know many of his songs, he definitely showcased potential. Although he came with rapid flows and groovy beats, his performance was nothing compared to what was next.
Starting with “trademark usa,” Baby Keem performed the best opening set I have ever seen. While he didn’t play my favorite song “STATS,” Baby Keem was subtly cool, calm, and collective. All while giving the most hype performance possible.
Finally, the man of the hour arrived.
Hearing the eerie falsetto of “United in Grief,” gave me goosebumps. Kendrick Lamar came out onto the stage.. With a puppet? Yup, Lamar rapped the entire first and second songs through a puppet looking exactly like him. One will find a lot of absurdity in a Kendrick Lamar show. Among other things, he took a COVID-19 test inside a box right before performing “Alright.”
By far, the best moment was when he performed “Money Trees.” Played by a live band, the song had a roaring guitar line and Kendrick even waved at us.
If you can spot tickets for the Mr. Morales and The Big Steppers Tour, definitely take them.