Kendrick Lamar brought his “Kunta’s Groove Sessions” to Terminal 5 with Jay Rock (pics, videos, setlist)
photos by PSquared
Kendrick Lamar at T5, 11/2/15
"Every nigger is a star."
That bold self-affirmation, taken from Jamaican singer Boris Gardiner's 1973 soundtrack cut, welcomes you into Kendrick Lamar's latest opus, To Pimp a Butterfly. It's also what plays him off the stage at his Kunta's Groove Sessions tour, a brief run at small-capacity, "intimate" venues, which stopped at New York City's Terminal 5 on Monday night. Originally planned for Webster Hall but moved last-minute, the show carries the album's opening mantra close to the chest, upending Kendrick's black-boy flyness with theatrical merit that should have Lin-Manuel Miranda taking notice.
...Midway through the show, following a dizzying run through of back-to-back Butterfly cuts and good kid, m.A.A.d city hits that've aged beautifully ("Backseat Freestyle" mixed with Eazy-E's "Boyz N' Tha Hood" was an early favorite), Kendrick hinted that this may be the last time he performs Butterfly in its entirety. "They call this the album of the year, album of this generation, but for me it was therapy," he said the LP, the culmination of multiple treks 'round the world behind good kid. Interacting with thousands of fans every night, he says, was eye-opening for his growth as both an artist and a human being, but there's nothing like getting to look his "core motherfucking following" in the eye like he did all night at the diverse 3,000 people packed into T5. "When shit hits the fan, is you still a fan?" he demanded of those nearest to him at center stage, on the album's introspective outro, "Mortal Man." [Dee Lockett for Vulture]
Kendrick Lamar's "Kunta's Groove Sessions" tour in support of this year's fantastic To Pimp A Butterfly hit NYC last night (11/2). The tour has Kendrick backed by a full band with his fellow Black Hippy member Jay Rock opening, and the idea is to have him hitting intimate venues. It was moved at the last minute from Webster Hall to the slightly less intimate Terminal 5, but that's still way smaller than the Barclays Center show he played a week and a half earlier. As the above review points out, they played basically the entire new album with some favorites from good kid, m.A.A.d city thrown in, plus a few references to some of the music that's inspired him.
Check out some videos and the setlist from the show, below...
For Free? (With Extended Intro by The Wesley Theory)
Swimming Pools (Drank)
Complexion (A Zulu Love) (Interlude)
Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe
u (Extended Outro)
Freestyle spoken word interlude
How Much a Dollar Cost (Interlude)
The Blacker the Berry
Every Nigger Is a Star (Boris Gardiner song)