Kendrick Lamar left the Arena so hard to jump that it is now ten meters deep in the ground. In Antwerp proved to be the main rapper of the moment his reputation is worth to them.
‘Kung Fu Kenny is practising his mothafucking skills’, was the advance of one of the large screens in the Arena. Kendrick Lamar had a red thread throughout his show woven: a …
‘Kung Fu Kenny is practising his mothafucking skills’, was the advance of one of the large screens in the Arena. Kendrick Lamar had a red thread throughout his show woven: a series of films in which the martial arts fascinated the alter ego of the rapper, his fighting technique perfected, assembled as a blaxploitation version of ‘The Karate Kid’.
Lamar was certainly enough time to have a last training session in between. Due to the congestion around Antwerp – there was a strike at The Line and the RAILWAY, and a hundred metres further on played Elbow in an equally sold-out Lotto Arena – began Lamar, a half-hour later on his show, because there were still too many people outside to slide.
But what a luck that they are not missed. Lamar opened with ‘DNA’, one of the best songs of 2017 and a biting list of all Lamar Lamar. It contains a razor-sharp swipe at conservative America, that blacks are still as subversive consider. Lamars inimitable rijmvernuft let the beat even better sound. And the rapper stresses, where his boundless ambition brought him: at the age of nine he wandered with his family from motel to motel. On his 29th he is the most popular rapper of the moment, and is his estate large enough to flikflaks in turn.
Also the stage in the Sportpaleis in antwerp was big enough for that. Four times there was a dancer on the stage gebuiteld – at a certain moment we counted six consecutive somersaults. But, it was Kendrick the shed for him alone. And so, round he from left to right across the scene, in a hogepriestergewaad of which even Oscar & The Wolf a stylistic eyebrow would go up.
Not that Lamar alone was off to Antwerp. In the wings, he had a live band hidden that songs like ‘Swimming Pools’ and ‘Pride’ of an extra layer of guitars provided. Delivered that is not always the most successful versions – sometimes clashed with the acoustics of the Arena and the bass and samples on the tape were.
The audience was too busy from his roof to that to his heart. Excerpts from Travis Scott’s ‘Goosebumps’ and Schoolboy Q’s ‘Collard greens’ proven: it is not because he is the standard-bearer of the socially critical rap is, that Kung Fu Kenny doesn’t know what a party is. With hits such as ‘King Kunta’ and ‘M. a.a.d. the city was so hard it jumped the Sportpaleis is now ten feet lower, and also bedachtzamere songs like “Money trees” got a stadionversie. Lamar was clearly not come to preach, and was also bindteksten largely omitted.
The rapper from California, Compton seemed especially to want to test how many ‘day one’fans to the sports palace down. Spoiler: that there were many. How complex is the lyrics of ‘Backseat freestyle’ or ‘Loyalty’ were, they were in unison meegebruld. With ‘Humble’ as the highlight: halfway through went the music, and took the Sting a few minutes ‘sit down/ be humble’ about, as if their life depended on it. And King Kendrick? That remained good. Rather everyone knows: with such an oeuvre would all modesty is false.
Kendrick Lamar****seen on 27/2 in Sportpaleis, Antwerp. On 18/8 at Pukkelpop, Kiewit.