B'shoot Review: Kendrick Lamar Is a 4:20 Superstar

I’m fighting some dry mouth in the press lounge right now on account of being in the KeyArena at 4:20 this afternoon.

Kendrick Lamar has achieved super-star status, as evidenced by the sizable dent he made in the KeyArena’s upper deck for his Saturday afternoon set. That’s where I was, behind a crowd of seven people in the 18-21 demographic sporting halter-tops and tank-tops, depending on their gender.

The best part of Lamar’s rap is its willingness to explore both sides of the hedonistic coin – the hangover and addiction as well as the party. Unwittingly embodying this, the seven fans who got me a nice contact high and had between them a flask, a glass piece and a joint. They passed these between themselves almost continually as Lamar ripped into his set, which included a version of "P & P" (that stands for Pussy and Patron) that saw the beat get dizzy and then crash, as if it itself was drowning in tequila.

Lamar had complete control of the crowd, with thousands of white arms waving in unison to his beats; I particularly liked “Fucking Problems.” On the recorded version, he’s just a guest rapper, but he made it his own this afternoon.

At 4:20, as the Key’s haze was growing thick and the seven fans were showing no signs of letting up, a security guard came out of nowhere, pulling one of the women out of the crowd and escorting her away. The two argued for a while, and then he let her return. Lamar was in the middle of an interlude, bringing the crowd to a fever pitch, but the woman was visibly upset. For her, the party had been interrupted. Lamar could have told her that would happen.

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