Kendrick Lamar, YC the Cynic, Nitty Scott MC, Jah-C & the Antidote @ Southpaw – 6.17.11

Took a week to finally get around to these flicks, but they’re finally here! So much to say about this show, but I want to keep it short and sweet… we’ll see how this goes…

First of all, I walked into this show not having heard any of Kendrick Lamar‘s music. Although a lot of my homies are huge fans, I did the same thing I did when I saw J. Cole and took in the music and performance all at once. My verdict? I walked away a fan… today I finally sat down and listened to “Overly Dedicated” and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I see what the hype is all about.

I rolled up to Southpaw around 8:30pm and found a line outside that stretched to almost the end of the block – a first for me! Soon after, Sav Killz showed up – which, as you know, meant that this show was officially…official. Thank goodness for press privileges… Got inside and the place was already almost packed out. No way was I going to be able to shoot in the pit, so I rocked out on stage this time. More on that madness later.

The show was hosted by Kid Potential and Meka of 2 Dope Boyz kept the sold-out crowd entertained between sets. Kid Potential brought up random members of the audience on stage and blessed the crowd with lots of giveaways. One dude in particular damn near stole the show (a la Lyriq 2 Go of Brokn.Englsh at Donuts Are Forever 2); I found out later that his name is Marvin and he’s a budding photographer. Meka hyped the crowd into a frenzy and turned Southpaw into a karaoke bar when he played the intro to R. Kelly’s “Bump & Grind” – Good times!

Jah-C and the Antidote opened up the show with a set that incorporated instrumentals as well as their band, aided by the homies Warren Britt & The Sleepwalkas. Jah-C also invited his neice to the stage to dance to one of their songs, which was very dope. Next up was Nitty Scott MC, and let me tell you – the guys were drooling when she hit the stage. I heard a couple of marriage proposals floating around, and Marvin even sang “Beautiful” after she left the stage. All that is fine and dandy, but her rhymes were also very well received, which is what really matters in my book… YC the Cynic came out and got straight to the point. No frills… just rap. And it worked – the highlight of my night was when he performed “Fall FWD”; if you know anything about how this song came about, then you’d understand why I was tickled that the inspiration for the song was in the building, which made YC’s performance all the more epic! “Chris Brown’s Latest Hit” was the joint that won the crowd over, though – always fun to watch people’s reactions when he does that song.

Now it was time for the main event… shortly after midnight, Kendrick Lamar hit the stage and Southpaw became electric. It was amazing to see how an artist from Cali who was headlining his first show in NYC had such a command over the crowd. It seemed like the crowd knew all the words to all his songs, and the energy remained at a fevered pitch during his entire set. Kendrick shared his life experiences about growing up, his parents’ love for Pac and Biggie, the artists who inspire him and more, and the crowd hung on his every word. Wow. Towards the end of his set, Kendrick blessed us with two tracks off his upcoming project, “#Section 80.” He told his DJ to let the records play and instead of performing them, he mimed them. I really enjoyed watching him bring his words to life this way.

Before Kendrick left the stage, the crowd surprised him by singing him “Happy Birthday” – a belated one, since he technically went on a day after…

The only gripe I had about this show was the flood of “media” who were on stage and made it a nightmare to shoot. I’ve never had to fight so hard for photos in my life – no lie, there were at least 20 people on stage at any given time during the show. There were what the homie Joey Too Fresh calls “FAUXtographers” and even a flipcam crew, and their lack of etiquette proved to be frustrating, as well as a distraction to the concert-goers. For shame.

Anyway… major shouts to Southpaw, Jah-C, Move Forward Music and everyone involved in making this show one for the books! Check out some of my photos below, and look out for “#Section80” July 2nd!

 

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