The excitement hit me all over again—this time, in the comfort of my own home. I woke up sick, sad, and lucky the day I saw Kendrick in The Bay for The Big Steppers Tour. That one ended with a hell of a life experience.
There was something stellar about seeing the Mr. Morale show livestream from Paris, France that was almost as exciting as the first time.
Being that Black, in all black, in such perfect form, in the bourgeois mecca of the world, meant something. To see him and Keem woo that crowd overseas like he did the Oakland folks felt almost as good as being at the show again.
I learned about Kendrick legit two weeks before he was on the XXL Freshman cover (2011). We didn’t know “Cut You Off” was a classic at the time, but run that back and tell me it’s not. I love how his “day one fans” know him from “Swimming Pools” now, while I can sit up here and run “Average Joe” and “The Heart Pt. 2” at the drop of a hat.
[music break for “The Heart Pt. 2,” Overly Dedicated and “Far From Here” ft. Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar EP]
To see how the last ten years have gone for him (musically), it feels good to see him with such success without losing an ounce of his liberty.
My first Kendrick show was in Baton Rouge a week before Good Kid dropped. Stalley performed “Petrin Hill Peonies” (favorite song of his) and brought out Mannie Fresh. Ab-Soul came out and had white dudes rappin’ his songs. I became a fan that night.
Jay Rock was pre-album but had a couple songs, hard bars, and great energy. That show set the tone for my undying appreciation for Top Dawg Ent.
I was inspired.
Money Trees in Paris
A moment in Hip-Hop history.
Pac and Louis would be proud.
No posse, just the homies.
Leather, all Black,
only showing and proving.
Good Kid turning Cities Maad
10 years straight and counting.
and we still bulletproof.
We still gon be Alright.
Keem on that Paris stage,
Man Man opened the door.
Black kid front and center
on that stadium floor.
Heart flowing free on stage.
Facts met with affection.
A hip-hop head’s fantasy:
Bars, boogies, blessings +
Address K. Dot with 4 letters.
Apex. Star. GOAT.
Soundtrack to my decade.
The spirits of Louis Armstrong and James Baldwin had to be in that arena in Paris that night. Every time we get our just due, a Black Angel gets their things.
pgLang is hitting the ground running with Tanna Leone and Baby Keem supporting 4-letter on a world tour. That’s the best foot to start on—big steppin at “the greatest show in the world.” Self-proclaimed and globally-sustained. The last ten years have been so exciting to see. Today, I’m just happy to bear witness.