Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q

(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

Kendrick Lamar and Top Dog Entertainment Bring the All-Stars of Rap to West Palm on the Championship Tour – Review of the Championship Tour ft. Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q at Coral Sky Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL

Story by: Gleb Barabanov

Winning is a Grammy is no easy feat, and winning a Pulitzer for your music is even tougher, but virtuoso word slinger Kendrick Lamar has managed to do both, something no other non-classical or jazz artist has accomplished. Hot on the heels of DAMN, his most successful album yet, the rap wunderkind has decided to assemble a massive all-star team of fellow Top Dog Entertainment artists to embark on a massive tour to celebrate their amazing success.

Surrounded by huge LED screens reaching up to the sky, the stage setup was something to behold. The tour had a very interesting “sports” theme to it, and every artist that came out had a different sport that they represented, with background videos and props on stage to accentuate the act. For instance, Jay Rock came out dressed in a basketball jersey, with a giant basketball hoop on stage and basketball clips on the background interlaced with cartoon-like bubble gum star cards featuring Jay and his “stats”. Schoolboy Q came out to the stage driving a giant blinged-out golf cart, clad in a golf uniform and with his video theme being golf.

The tour had an interesting setup because since there so many artists, some of them were only able to sing a couple of songs before the next one had to come on, but on the plus side it cut down on stage setup time since they were able to just come on stage as the last artist finished up. Sir and Lance Skiiwalker were only able to sing a couple of songs before Ab Soul came on stage and started his set with Terrorist Threats. Jay Rock came out and performed Vice City, Easy Bake and King’s Dead before Schoolboy Q came on stage and began his set with THat Part and What They Want. I was pleasantly surprised that he played quite a few songs from my favorite album Oxymoron, including hits Collard Greens, Hell of a Night and a cover of Sir’s Something Foreign, before finishing off his time on stage with his most famous song, Man of the Year.

Unfortunately SZA was not able to make it due to swollen vocal cords, so the next artist to take the stage was Kung-Fu Kenny himself, Kendrick Lamar. Coming out on top of one of the giant screens 30 feet in the air, he began his set with DNA and ELEMENT while “Pulitzer Kenny” flashed on the screen behind him as a celebration of his recent victory. His part show employed a more “Nine Inch Nails” style lighting system, and unlike the rest of the artists where the spotlight was focused firmly on them, Kendrick elected to hide in the fog and shadows while strobe lights and laser beams went off all around him, accentuated by the giant screen in the background. He also had a real-life backing band playing the beats, instead of just having a DJ play his songs from tape for him to rap to, and K-Dot and the band absolutely killed it, blasting through hits like Backseat Freestyle and Money Trees before getting the whole crowd riled with Alright, every person rapping the lyrics right back at him. After a massive 18 song set, the concert ended with the last song of the night, HUMBLE, which started out with Kendrick letting the crowd sing the entire song before restarting it and doing it with his vocals. It was an absolutely killer show and I hope Kendrick and the crew don’t stay strangers to the south-east coast!