At Rolling Loud 2017, Kendrick Lamar Gave Miami a Preview of His Damn Tour

Kendrick Lamar performs at Rolling Loud.
Kendrick Lamar performs at Rolling Loud. Photo by Alex Markow
A little more than a week ago, Kendrick Lamar fans were shocked to learn the TDE rapper didn’t include South Florida in his upcoming Damn tour with Travis Scott and D.R.A.M., which kicks off in July. Relief from this grief came Saturday night at Rolllng Loud. The Compton lyricist made sure to deliver the most real set he’s ever done in Miami for all of his fans.

Before the “Humble” rapper hit the stage, the audience was overcrowded with eager concertgoers who came to see Kendrick close out Day 2 of the hip-hop music festival. It was 10:13 p.m., and the sea of people posted up at the Postmates Stage was growing larger and antsier by the minute. The headlining act was originally scheduled to begin his set promptly at 10 p.m. but ended up hitting the stage by 10:20. Not one soul complained about his tardiness once he began his set.

Lamar's set displayed all of the elements of classic K Dot when he performed songs such as “King Kunta” off his album To Pimp a Butterfly. With the help of his live band, he was also able to deliver other memorable songs, such as "Levitate” and his verse on "Goosebumps” minus Travis Scott. At one point, he surveyed the crowd to feed off the energy. Once he knew the audience was ready, he really started taking it back when he dropped "Collard Greens."
click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALEX MARKOW
Photo by Alex Markow
Roars echoed around downtown Miami as the intro to "Swimming Pools" began. Instrumentals banged off the sides of every building surrounding Bayfront Park, and fans recited every lyric as if the song were the Pledge of Allegiance. Their voices grew strong enough to slightly overpower the tunes. But he blessed the masses with his "Backseat Freestyle" and "Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe" before busting out "Money Trees." He got the entire stage and everyone around it seeing nothing but green and white.

Lamar gave a warmup of what fans can expect to see on his Damn tour. After he kicked off his set right with an intense rendition of “DNA,” the voice of Kid Capri helped him move on to other uplifting records, such as “Element.” “God” also kept everyone’s hands in the air. There were no unique setups onstage, nor were there back-up dancers to help get his point across. In fact, it seems Lamar might have decided to cut back on creating messages between the lines of his grand performances — the sort he delivered at the 2017 Grammys or in his viral showdown at Coachella. He might be saving them all for his summer tour. Yet that didn’t stop him from going as his hardest on each song he performed.

During his set last night, he truly channeled Kung Fu Kenny. He stuck to real rap for his debut performance at Rolling Loud. He kicked ass with all of his classic hits, including “I” and “Alright,” while remaining “humble.”

If we thought he killed it at Rolling Loud, just imagine what his Damn tour will be like. But we'll have to travel to see it.
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Tony M. Centeno
Contact: Tony M. Centeno
Cristina Jerome is a freelance music writer and event producer based in South Florida. She spends her time listening to R&B and making purple flower crowns. Follow her work on