BY EVENTSEEKER STAFF
It’s fitting that Kendrick Lamar is making his Coachella (April 13 & 20) debut the same year that West Coast legends Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are headlining the festival’s final day. The up-and-coming 24 year-old rapper has been rapidly establishing himself within the hip-hop community over the past couple years, winning over some heavy-hitters, including Dre himself, who has collaborated with and championed Lamar in the press repeatedly. One listen to last year’s strikingly confident debut, Section.80, and it’s easy to see why.
Kendrick Lamar’s “A.D.H.D.”
Kendrick Lamar’s “Hol’Up”
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:
Further expanding on Lamar’s fateful connection to Dre, it should be noted that at the tender age of eight, he managed to witness the video shoot for Dre and 2Pac‘s “California Love” single. And while the experience clearly made an indelible mark on his burgeoning love for hip-hop, it wasn’t the West Coast and G-funk sounds that really got their grips into him. Rather, it was the harder-edged flow and concrete jungle energy of East Coast rappers such as Nas, Jay-Z and the aforementioned 2Pac that proved to be most important during his formative years. It’s perhaps this balance between his California roots and his love for New York City rap that has made Lamar’s early offerings so instantly rewarding and promising.
Section.80 offered listeners a glimpse into Lamar’s smoothly unique flow and rhymes that tread the line between boastful swagger and sensitive introspection, but it seems to be just the beginning of what’s to come. His soon to be released follow-up, entitled Good Kid In a Mad City, will be put out on Top Dawg Entertainment, and will include production work from Dre and Just Blaze, among others. Coachella-goers may just be set to witness a symbolic changing of the guard, so to speak, within West Coast hip-hop, as all signs seem to point toward Lamar enjoying quite the year in 2012.
IF YOU CAN:
If you want to check Kendrick Lamar out before Coachella there’s plenty of opportunities to do so throughout March. He and A$AP Rocky open for Drake at a handful of arena shows. Also, if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area this month, take note of his one scheduled headlining show at the Grand Regency Ballroom on March 27th.