Kendrick Lamar closed out the last night of Essence Festival 2015 and he was everything you could ask for. The rapper was pleasant, positive, inspiring and his set ran short so for the tons of staffers in the venue, he provided an early night off.
Lamar ran through cuts from his debut album, Good Kid maad city as well as a few of his features and some of the new standouts from To Pimp A Butterfly. His stage presence was just much different than what I’ve seen at Hip-Hop shows Kendrick has performed at, which makes it clear why Essence decided to have him close out the weekend on their biggest Festival yet. Kendrick made it his mission to talk to the fans in the crowd, shouting out people who wore clothes that read “Compton.” He made sure to share his positive energy with everyone who could hear his voice.
When it was time to perform his new single, “Alright,” he spoke directly to one of the young boys in the crowd, a pre-teen who was there with his parents in one of the first few rows. Kendrick dedicated the song to the young brother but not before providing him with some inspirational words of wisdom, a moment for that young fan that he will probably never forget. A touching moment for the entire crowd.
For many, I’m sure this was more than a show. It was an eye opening look at the rapper and the man that is Kendrick Lamar. The music sounds better live, although it probably can’t get much better than it already is.
Check out our images from his show here: