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Kendrick Lamar 8/27/16 @ Fuck Yeah Fest. Photo by Todd Seelie for FYF Fest. Used With Permission By www.BlurredCulture.com.

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Kendrick Lamar 8/27/16 @ Fuck Yeah Fest. Setlist.Closing out the main stage on the first night of FYF was Los Angeles’ current ambassador of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar. Based on the momentum that Kendrick has been riding ever since his exhilarating performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards, the festival crowd arrived en masse with the hopes of being a witness to another potentially groundbreaking performance.

On a huge video screen at the rear of the stage, Kendrick’s performance opened with montage of black icons. Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan … if any other rapper used those images of iconic figures in black culture, it would have been viewed as a bit arrogant, but Kendrick is not any other rapper, and I saw it as a statement that Kendrick’s words were worthy of such an elevated stature.

Kendrick announced early in the set that it was a “TDE thing tonight”. He teased the audience that Schoolboy Q was “in the wings” which was actually a metaphor because even though he covered a pair of Schoolboy Q songs (“Collard Greens” and “That Part”), Schoolboy Q never took the stage. Kendrick did, however, invite the next Top Dawg Entertainment artist that’s surely going to make some waves in the rap world, Isaiah Rashad, to perform “Free Lunch” together (see the video at the bottom of the page).

Kendrick’s performance was virtually flawless. Eloquently spitting lyrics with an intensity that few can match, the audience was transfixed on Kendrick, absorbing every word (words that we’ve all heard on repeat since they’ve been released). Things got turned up during his encore of “Alright” when Kendrick ordered:

“We in Los Angeles. This is my home. LA … let’s make some fucking noise right now”

Before leaving the stage, Kendrick proclaimed his love for his home city with a simple, “LA, I love y’all.” Naw, Kendrick. We love you.

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