After Drake battle, Kendrick Lamar turns victory lap concert into LA unity celebration (2024)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Not content with merely taking a victory lap after winning his battle against fellow rap superstar Drake, Kendrick Lamar turned his Juneteenth “Pop Out” concert at the Forum into a cathartic livestreamed celebration of Los Angeles unity.

Lamar curated a three-hour concert featuring a mix of up-and-coming LA rappers and stars including Tyler, The Creator, Steve Lacy and YG. When it was his turn to take the stage, the 37-year-old rapper powered through a set with Black Hippy collaborators Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, performed his Drake diss songs “Euphoria” and “6:16 in LA,” then was joined on-stage by Dr. Dre.

The two West Coast titans performed “Still D.R.E.” and “California Love” and Dre called Lamar “one of the greatest that ever did it” before quieting the roaring crowd by requesting a moment of silence. It was a misdirect. He then delivered the “Sixth Sense” quote that opens Lamar’s chart-topping “Not Like Us”: “I see dead people.”

A crowd of 17,000 that included The Weeknd, LeBron James, Ayo Edebiri and Rick Ross rapped along to every word of the biting-but-jubilant DJ Mustard production, which Lamar restarted twice after the first verse and performed four times in full.


Shuffling, frolicking, dancing and spinning around him as Lamar strode the stage in a red hoodie: NBA stars Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan, Mustard, rapper Roddy Ricch and even a teenage dance troupe led by the krumping innovator Tommy the Clown.

Lamar reveled in the moment: “Y’all ain’t gon’ let nobody disrespect the West Coast. Y’all ain’t gon’ let nobody imitate our legends, huh,” he said, referring to Drake’s use of an AI tool to mimic 2Pac’s voice on one of his diss records. He also added a line to “Euphoria” referencing Drake’s purchase of 2Pac’s jewelry: “Give me 2Pac ring back and I might give you a little respect.”

But the Compton native had more on his mind, calling out to specific men and women to join him on-stage for a group photo.

“Let the world see this,” he said. “You ain’t seen this many sections on one stage keeping it together and having peace. ... For all of us to be on this stage together, unity, from East side ... LA, Crips, Bloods, Piru — this ... is special, man. We put this ... together just for ya’ll.

“This ... ain’t got nothing to do with no song at this point, ain’t got nothing to do with no back and forth records, it’s got everything to do with this moment right here. That’s what this ... was about, to bring all of us together.”

After the final song, Lamar exited, saying “I promise you this won’t be the last of us.” The stabbing horns of the “Not Like Us” instrumental kicked in once again and the crowd rapped the lyrics without Lamar as they filed through hallways out to the parking lot. The Twitch and Prime Video livestream concluded.

The feud that that energized hip-hop fans over the last few months had long been a sort of cold war, with coded, subtle and deniable insults woven into some of the two rappers’ biggest hits over the past decade, from “Energy” to “All The Stars,” “Gyalchester” to “HUMBLE.” It began after Lamar’s attention-grabbing verse on Big Sean’s 2013 “Control,” in which he laid out his ambition to beat out Drake and other top rappers. The Canadian actor-turned-rapper, who as the bigger star had hand-picked Lamar to join his second headlining tour a year earlier, felt personally insulted.

The two then took widely divergent paths as their careers flourished on parallel paths. Drake shares images of his wealth and jokey memes online, collaborates regularly with up-and-coming artists and integrates bubbling musical trends in hip-hop and the broader pop world to pump out club-ready singles at a consistent pace. Lamar often disappears from the public eye for years at a time to build deeply introspective concept albums featuring few voices other than his own — while maintaining a minimal social media presence.

Drake’s taste-making ability mostly kept him on top of the rap world, with an approach that matched the direction of pop music as a whole. But as his hit-making consistency diminished, an opening emerged. Lamar, Future and Metro Boomin kicked off their direct assault on Toronto’s king in March with “Like That.”

Lamar made his disdain clear: He sees Drake as a talented outsider who enjoys and profits from hip-hop culture but didn’t grow up in it, code-switching his way into the mainstream without a core identity or authenticity. His nail-in-the-coffin final verse on “Not Like Us” sums up his view: “You run to Atlanta when you need a few dollars / No, you not a colleague, you a ... colonizer.”

After Drake battle, Kendrick Lamar turns victory lap concert into LA unity celebration (2024)


Who did Kendrick Lamar have on stage? ›

Here, mainstream musical luminaries like Tyler, The Creator and Steve Lacey took the stage, but L.A. favorite Tommy The Clown technically held down a longer set than either. Roddy Ricch rocked the crowd, but so did relative rap neophytes like Remble and Azchike.

Where was Kendrick Lamar's pop out concert? ›

The Pop Out: Ken & Friends was a one-off concert by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was held at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, on June 19, 2024. The Juneteenth and Black Music Month celebration marked Lamar's first major performance following his highly publicized feud with Canadian rapper Drake.

Who did Kendrick Lamar bring out? ›

Among the mix were Tyler, the Creator, YG, Roddy Ricch, Ty Dolla $ign, Dom Kennedy and Steve Lacy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Zoe Osama, RJMRLA, OhGeesy, Jason Martin, Ray Vaughn, Cuzzos and Westside Boogie also appeared on the lineup.

Where can I watch the Kendrick Lamar pop out concert? ›

Kendrick Lamar's The Pop Out – Ken & Friends was streamed live from the Kia Forum on Prime Video and Amazon Music's Twitch Channel on Wednesday, June 19 at 4 p.m. PT and 7 p.m. ET. Subscribers were able to stream The Pop Out on Prime Video for free.

Did Eminem help Kendrick Lamar? ›

Eminem was so convinced that Kendrick Lamar could be using a ghostwriter that he made the rapper write his verse for "Love Game," a track from the 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, without anyone else in the room.

Who found out about Kendrick Lamar? ›

Due to the breakthrough success of his Aftermath Entertainment debut (good kid, m.A.A.d city), most people attribute Kendrick Lamar's discovery to fellow Compton legend Dr. Dre. But seven years before Dre's label came calling, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith saw potential in a 16-year-old rapper by the name of K. Dot.

When was Kendrick Lamar's last tour? ›

TitleDatesAssociated album(s)
Kunta's Groove SessionsOctober 20, 2015 – November 10, 2015To Pimp a Butterfly
The Damn TourJuly 7, 2017 – July 30, 2018Damn
The Big Steppers TourJune 23, 2022 – December 9, 2023Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers
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How many people were at the Kendrick concert? ›

The sold-out concert, which featured 16,000 fans in attendance and streamed live on Amazon Prime Video, comes a month after his fiery rap beef with Drake.

Where did Kendrick Lamar used to live? ›

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth grew up in a high-crime area of Compton, California, where his parents had moved to escape a violent milieu in Chicago.

Is Kendrick Lamar the next Tupac? ›

Over the past decade, Kendrick Lamar has become a prominent figure in contemporary hip-hop, wielding influence comparable to the legendary Tupac Shakur. Often compared to Shakur, who fearlessly addressed societal issues, Kendrick has assumed a similar role as a voice for his generation.

Did Dr. Dre make Kendrick Lamar? ›

Dre was impressed by The Game's talent and signed him to his record label, Aftermath Entertainment. The Game's debut album, "The Documentary," was produced by Dre and went on to be a commercial and critical success. Kendrick Lamar is a Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist who was discovered by Dr. Dre.

What did Kendrick Lamar do before fame? ›

Lamar had a brief stint as a security guard when he started working on music with Jay Rock at TDE's in-house recording studio. The bond he formed with him, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q led to the formation of the hip hop supergroup, Black Hippy.

How much does it cost for Kendrick Lamar to perform? ›

The final Kendrick Lamar booking price is contingent on many variables and the booking fee we may show is based on a range derived from our past experience with what will Kendrick Lamar charge for an event. An example fee to book Kendrick Lamar is in the starting range of $1,500,000-$1,999,999.

Is Baby Keem touring with Kendrick? ›

In 2022, Baby Keem went on tour in support of his album The Melodic Blue. Now that his Melodic Blue Tour has concluded, Baby Keem plans to tour with his cousin Kendrick Lamar. Make sure to catch this talented rapper on the road as he opens on the Kendrick Lamar tour.

Where can I watch the pop out Ken & Friends? ›

Kendrick Lamar is playing a one-off show in Los Angeles tonight and fans will be able to stream the concert online for free thanks to Amazon.
Jun 19, 2024

Who was sitting next to Kendrick Lamar at Louis Vuitton? ›

He improvised some lyrics to honor Abloh. He performed from his seat as the models paraded down the runway, while seatmate Naomi Campbell bopped to the music and took videos. Lamar, who also next to his manager Dave Free and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, wore one of Vuitton's signature billowy men's suits.

Who did Kendrick Lamar start with? ›

He began writing rhymes as a young teenager, and he released his first mixtape, Youngest Head nigg* in Charge (2003), under the name K. Dot. The music impressed Anthony Tiffith, head of the newly formed record label Top Dawg Entertainment, and he signed the musician. Duckworth put out two more mixtapes as K.

Does Kendrick Lamar have a stage name? ›

Lamar initially performed under the stage name K. Dot, releasing three mixtapes under that moniker: Y.H.N.I.C.

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