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The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review]

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Pemberton, BC – On Jul. 18, Kendrick Lamar came through Pemberton Music Festival 2014 to perform a set at the Mt. Currie stage.

It’s been a minute since good kid, m.A.A.d city came out. But most people are still bumping it on the regular – it was that legendary. So swarms of Pemby attendees flocked to the Mt. Currie stage at some ungodly hour to get prime stage-front real estate. Unfortunately, King Kendrick was almost an hour late arriving to his show. Despite the very vocal frustrations of the audience, all was forgiven when Kendrick took the stage. Because attending a K-Dot show is a milestone. A major rap milestone. Check the official HipHopCanada review of Kendrick’s set after the jump.

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

Sarah: Due to some miscommunication (and security generally not knowing what to do with media peoples), I ended up in a makeshift holding area backstage (instead of in the regular media holding area for photographers). It was all good, though. One of the T.D.E. dudes winked at me and I got weak in the knees. Anyways, everyone was hustling around but there was no K-Dot to be found. Eventually I found the rest of the media people near the front of the stage. At this point I was freaking out because the set was scheduled to start in exactly one minute. So I frantically pulled out my camera and assumed my position to start taking photos. I waited. I waited some more. Nothing happened. Kendrick wasn’t showing. And it looked like he wouldn’t be showing for a while. As the crowd began chanting for their King Kendrick, a few attendees took to vocalizing their frustrations. There were boos. There were angry yells. This wasn’t good kid, m.A.A.d city business; this was just straight-up m.A.A.d kids.

Finally – after more than 45 minutes of waiting – the lights dimmed and K took the stage. Here’s the deal: Kendrick has had demi-god status in my books for the last little while. good kid, m.A.A.d city has – many times over - taken me through an extreme emotional roller coaster ride. From the raw hunger of “Backseat Freestyle,” to the helplessness of “Swimming Pools (Drank),” to the supreme validation of self I felt while listening to “Real.” I guess I expected a live Kendrick show to take me back through all of those emotional highs and lows. But K-Dot was surprisingly aloof. But I really like to overanalyze rappers. So I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and say that Kendrick’s aloofness was unintentional. Kendrick has a reputation for being the freshest of fresh-baked humble pie. And it seems to be his M.O. Despite his glorified rapper status, his ego remains uninflated.

Kendrick took pause, mid-show, to point out that GKMC came out several years ago. HOLD UP. Years ago? For real? Apparently. Anyways, he thanked the audience for giving him the opportunity to be up on the stage performing said specific old material. Because if you’re in the rap game and you’re performing material from more than a year back, you’re probably on the path to becoming extremely irrelevant. Not Kendrick, though. good kid, m.A.A.d city is the new-age rap bible.

Then K got all heartfelt and dedicated a song to the fellas and their beautiful beaus. Except it wasn’t romantic – by any means – because said song was “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” That’s right. Kendrick dedicated “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” to the couples in the audience. Which was a very bitter thing to do. You feel me? But it was also solid wingmanship. Because sometimes you just need that little push to drop the vibe-killing bitches in your life. ‘Na mean?

Aside from delivering his GKMC records, Kendrick also hit us with a very Lamar-ed out rendition of “F**king Problems.” And then he brought out fellow T.D.E. MC, ScHoolboy Q, for a monster performance of the duo’s “Collard Greens.” Which was amazing. And all I could have ever asked for from T.D.E. I got down with that ish.

I finally got the dose of feels and emotions I was itching for at the end of the set when Kendrick performed a condensed version of “Sing About Me.” Kendrick encouraged everyone to take out their phones and lighters. And the Mt. Currie stage audience followed suit. The audience turned into a mass of waving lights and flames. It was kind of culty. The good kind of culty. The kind of culty where you feel you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself. And that something is King Kendrick. Oooooh. The feels.

Sarosh: Forty-five minutes of waiting for Kendrick to start his set did not take away from how good it was. (Word was there was some equipment missing. Word now is K.Dot was just late). No tracks from Section 80 did not take away from how good it was. Cutting into ten minutes of the incredibly highly anticipated Nine Inch Nails (for me) set did not take away from how good it was. As much as I’ve heard from others who’ve seen him live that K.Dot’s live show was amazing, I’m not sure I would have bet he could overcome all of those things and still come out shining.

That is exactly what he did though. The show was bench marking. He took the energy Tyler, the Creator had set on the same stage a couple hours earlier and tightened it up with a five piece band. That was the first sign of great things to come. The set didn’t necessarily set a new bar for live hip hop performances, but it definitely hit that bar set by the greats, and firmly cemented Kendrick as the King of the new school.

The set consisted of most of the tracks off the first half of good kid, m.A.A.d city , but were more mashed up versions set for his live show. Sing About Me was only the first verse and Swimming Pools was neither of the official versions, which made for a nice pace for the show. Whether that’s typical for a Kendrick show or something he emphasized to fit his shortened set time. Overall the show was a sick sampler, which makes me need to see a full Kendrick set that much more.

Written by Sarah Sussman and Sarosh Rizvi for HipHopCanada
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada

Notice: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of HipHopCanada or its affiliates.

Photography by Sarah Sussman

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

The Kendrick Lamar experience at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review] - HipHopCanada.com

About Huka Entertainment

New Orleans, LA-based HUKA Entertainment is a privately held full-service production, talent-buying and promotion company that specializes in festivals, concerts and events of all sizes. Known for groundbreaking innovation at festivals throughout North America, HUKA Entertainment produced the Concerts for the Coast series featuring Jimmy Buffett, Bon Jovi and Brad Paisley; is the co-founder, producer, talent-buyer and promoter of the award-winning Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival (Ft. Lauderdale, FL); is the co-founder, producer, talent buyer and promoter of Pemberton Music Festival (Pemberton, BC); and the co-producer and co-promoter of BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans, LA) and is the co-founder, producer, talent buyer and co-promoter of the award-winning Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, AL). HUKA Entertainment also books talent for and/or promotes a variety of concerts and events throughout the Southeastern United States.

About The Sunstone Group

The Sunstone Group is a Canadian owned family business with operations in both the real estate and entertainments sectors. In addition to the Pemberton Music Festival, the Sunstone Group has a number of other business interests in the Pemberton Community, including a land development, establishment of an independent boarding school, and ownership of the Meadows at Pemberton Golf Course.


About the Village of Pemberton

Pemberton is one of the fastest-growing communities in BC and home to family farms, fresh outdoor adventures and stunning vistas. The Village of Pemberton (VOP) is home to over 2400 residents and works in cooperation with neighbouring communities and key business and tourism partners such as Tourism Pemberton http://www.tourismpembertonbc.com and the Pemberton Chamber of Commerce http://www.pembertonchamber.com on community planning, service provision and events. Pemberton’s mild winters, warm summers and unique pioneer heritage provide an ideal place to enjoy arts, culture, history, recreation, dining, shopping and comfortable lodging.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Since 1992 Whistler Blackcomb has been focused on the development and execution of an environmental management strategy with the goal of developing a model of environmental and social stewardship for ski and mountain resort operations. Since that time, the company has been recognized for its efforts with countless awards, and has the honour of being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers (2009, 2010, 2011). Today, Whistler Blackcomb is a four-season resort with a world-renowned Mountain Bike Park on Whistler Mountain, a 22-feet Olympic-sized halfpipe on Blackcomb Mountain, and five Terrain Parks to fuel progression at every level from beginners to elite athletes. The mountains play host to countless festivals and events each year including the legendary TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival each April, and Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival each August, in addition to playing host to the world as the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

About Tourism Whistler

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

About the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Located in southwestern BC, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is a local government federation consisting of four rural electoral areas (A, B, C, and D) and four member municipalities (Lillooet, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish). Headquartered in Pemberton, the SLRD delivers a range of local, regional and sub-regional services to approximately 38,000 residents. Straddling the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains and encompassing 16,500 square kilometers of land, the SLRD features some of the province’s most spectacular forests, glaciers, rivers and lakes as well as an abundance of fertile agricultural land, much of which is found in Electoral Area C, near Pemberton.

About Tourism Pemberton

Tourism Pemberton is an independent not-for-profit destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting tourism and travel for Pemberton, BC and surrounding region. The area was developed at the turn of the century as a result of forestry and agriculture. The Pemberton Valley lies northwest of the Village and is famous for its seed potatoes. The Pemberton area offers world-class activities and recreation including snowmobiling, horseback riding, skiing, golfing, hiking, rafting, jet boating and gliding. The district also provides a variety of shopping, dining, accommodations and a thriving service and light industrial sector. Pemberton – Adventure Begins Here.


Twitter: @kendricklamar | @Pemberton_Fest

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Sarah Sussman is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah was born-and-raised in Calgary, AB. She is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a 2013 graduate from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program. She writes about hip-hop and fashion (and sometimes a combination of the two). She also manages a vintage clothing boutique on-the-side. Sarah has written for The Weal, Where Calgary, Essential Calgary, and Our Alberta. Sarah started working with HipHopCanada in Jan. 2013 as Canadian Prairies Editor. She has been fortunate enough to interview some pretty cool cats, including Action Bronson, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, Maseo (De La Soul), Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), and more. Twitter: @IHeartTART

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