Kendrick Lamar Helps Soothe Another Day of Scorching Weather at Panorama 2016

Kendrick Lamar
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar performs onstage at the 2016 Panorama NYC Festival - Day 2 at Randall's Island on July 23, 2016 in New York City. 

Another scorching hot day bled into a warm, balmy evening as Kendrick Lamar took the stage headlining day two of the inaugural Panorama Festival in New York City. And the Compton-bred MC did not, by any means, disappoint the biggest crowd of the weekend, making sure that his words matched the blazing heat that had enveloped a weary audience on Randall's Island.

K.Dot opened proceedings with a visual montage of NBA players getting ejected from arenas -- fans of Ron Artest might remember the Malice in the Palace particularly -- before starting with "untitled 07," colloquially known among fans as "Levitate," a cut off his "outtakes" album that regardless hit No. 1 on its release earlier this year. It set the tone for the rest of Lamar's set -- mostly letting fans know that there was little part of his catalog he was open to bringing forward.

The resulting two hours brought forth songs from his Grammy-winning album, To Pimp a Butterfly, his debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, and his previous work, including "A.D.H.D" from his critically-acclaimed project Section.80, which he dedicated to the "real fans" from day one out in the crowd.

An extended version of "Backseat Freestyle," the Hit-Boy-produced banger from his Interscope debut, really set the crowd alight, and Lamar paid tribute to label-mate ScHoolboy Q -- whose Blank Face LP came out this month, and who performed Saturday (July 23) -- by playing both Q's single "THat Part" and their prior collab "Collard Greens" (which Q had also performed the night before).

Rather than using the massive screens on either side of the stage to zoom in on his performance, Lamar, at least in large part, used the visual component as a way to make his political and cultural points -- which his music has addressed repeatedly -- putting footage of Prince, George Bush, President Obama and Ellen DeGeneres on the screen behind him at various points.

And knowing his latest anthem, "Alright," was one fans were looking for -- particularly in light of the violence in this country that unfortunately has not abated since his album was conceived and then released last year -- he teased the song repeatedly before launching into a full-throated rendition. If Kendrick Lamar can't assuage the ache of a country in turmoil, he can at least provide an outlet for fans to express their outrage and support. And that they did. 


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