LocationVerizon Theatre (formerly Nokia Theatre)
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- June 12, 2013 7pm
Kendrick Lamar is a rapper completely of his time. He released his debut album exclusively online, gets lampooned on Hipster Runoff, and pops up in blog and meme culture all the time. And yet, he’s one of the few artists of his generation who can deliver a conscientious message in the same manner that hip hop’s pioneers did decades ago. Lamar deals directly, actually making up a persona for his conscience in his enormous hit, “Swimming Pools (Drank).” This is risky territory for any artist who must always protect their seemingly endless stockpile of cool, but he pulls off the warning about the perils of binge drinking without coming off as preachy. The casual listener may never even notice that Lamar is often speaking out on topics such as ethnicity and substance abuse, but therein lies a truth that speaks to his significant rise to prominence. Some of his audience wants to hear Lamar opine, while the rest just want to turn it up and get carried away. Either way, they’re listening. He's supported on his tour by Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock.