A musician is rarely as determined to put on a show as Kendrick Lamar was this past weekend at Rolling Loud Miami. In a cinematic setlist, the 35-year-old rapper from Compton woven a cohesive narrative through both his acting and rapping. As a result, Lamar’s show was once in a lifetime and truly unforgettable for Miami on Sunday.
The visual representation of Lamar’s 2022 album “Mr. Thorns” was displayed on stage wearing a crown of thorns. According to creative collaborator Dave Free, the outfit refers to the album’s artwork and is a study of religious imagery and depictions of “hood philosophies.
” But Lamar’s lyrics made it clear that his persona was instead a metaphor for his struggle and perseverance and not a representation of a savior. As Lamar performs songs like “Savior,” he expresses that great artists — such as Cole, Future, and himself — are only human.
As he said, “the cat is out of the bag, I’m not your savior, but I do find it just as difficult to love my neighbors,” Baby Keem and Sam Dew joined him in calling out those who hold him to such high standards. When “N95” kicked off, backup dancers dressed in jumpsuits and masks filled the stage in a nod to the song’s Covid-related lyrics.
The choreographed stage continued to act like a living, breathing extension of his lyrics, accompanied by the dancers chanting “You steppin’ or what?” Lamar himself took part in the acting, leading the audience like an orchestral conductor during the introductory lines “Hello, new world, all the boys and girls.
“;” and moshing on stage for the chorus of “mad city” and standing still for “ELEMENT,” closing in all around Lamar like the crowd of haters Lamar’s stage design contributed to the narrative, from the LED display, which illustrated the transition slides for “Kendrick Have A Dream” into “Backseat Freestyle,” and “Rich Spirit, Broke Phone” into “Rich Spirit.
” The video feed behind him, shot from various angles with a movie-like sepia filter cutting in and out to the beat, only further enhanced the cinematic, audio-visual experience. The displays served to organize the set chronologically as well as hype the audience up before the next song’s beat drops.
It was a sight to behold as the multiple Grammy award-winning artist effortlessly switched between tracks, taking no time for a breather between the breakneck flows in “King Kunta” and “LOYALTY.”To the 808s’ deep thrum, multiple mosh pits formed to match his high energy. Lamar brought Kodak Black on stage last night to perform “Silent Hill.
” When these two legends appeared together for the first time – especially since Black is from South Florida – the crowd went wild. It is also worth mentioning that the performance followed backlash from some fans after Lamar included Black on the album after the rapper pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault in a case from 2021.
Although the rapper didn’t know what to expect, Lamar made sure to make him feel welcome, even getting him to dance. The crowd wasn’t done with guest appearances on Sunday; “Everyone! Energetic!” shouted Lamar’s cousin Baby Keem as he returned to the stage to perform “Family Ties” for the second time that day.
Many speculations were circulating throughout the day that Lamar would bring out his cousin and touring partner. The anxious crowd got exactly what they wanted in an explosive performance that proved why the song took home the trophy for Best Rap Performance at the 64th Grammy Awards.“I go by the name of K.Dot, Kendrick Lamar, and Oklahoma.
I love y’all,” Lamar said at one point. Switching between the personas of past albums, Lamar executed a musically chronological performance that represented his journey and growth as an artist. As K.Dot from 2017’s “DAMN.
Taking time to capture the poetry in “Alright,” Kung Fu Kenny from “To Pimp A Butterfly” is a lyrically sensitive rapper who takes his time to prove his ambition through songs like “HUMBLE.” He spent most of his performance playing the big stepper, someone with the experience and wisdom to know his limits and work on her flaws – Like in “Count Me Out,” in which Lamar ruminates.
“Even my strong points couldn’t survive If the world is full of great musicians, but there are also great performers. Kendrick Lamar proved himself to be both with this performance. His backup dancers parted like the Red Sea for him as he left the stage, not out of reverence for the Bible, but out of respect for his art.
Dakota Cameron is a seasoned web content writer and covers the Hollywood movies for the MovieThop Website
Ms. Cameron began his professional life as a freelance blogger. Later, he worked for Witbe as a content writer for two years. His interests include blogging, reading, movies and travel.
Ms. Cameron graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication from University State of Georgia University. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and other languages.