Kendrick Lamar and the rest of Top Dawg Entertainment continue to outdo themselves.
Lamar headlined day two of SXSW’s iTunes five-night concert series, alongside TDE artists ScHoolboy Q and newcomer Isaiah Rashad. The show, which took place at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre Wednesday night (March 12), kicked off with a short set by Rashad. The rapper, who signed to TDE this month last year, performed songs from his recent EP, “Civilia Demo.” Earlier in the day, Rashad performed a 25-minute set at the Fader Fort, where he brought out another new TDE signee, SZA, for “Ronnie Drake.”
Wearing his signature bucket hat, ScHoolboy Q took the stage to perform a 35-minute set, blazing through songs off his mixtapes (such as “Hands On The Wheel” off “Habits & Contradictions”) and major label debut “Oxymoron.” His recent release debuted at No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with 139,000 first week copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“Shout-out to the beginner fans. It ain’t ever too late. Shout out to the kid who came to see Kendrick and hates me. Sit your ass down,” ScHoolboy joked.
Soon after ScHoolboy Q closed his set with his latest single “Man of the Year,” TDE’s producer/engineer and tour DJ, MixedbyAli, stepped up to the turntables and queued up a snippet of Kendrick Lamar’s “The Art of Peer Pressure.” The rapper ran onstage in all dark blue, kicking off his set with “m.A.A.d City.”
Lamar continued to pace back and forth onstage, performing guest verses (“Fuckin’ Problems,” “R.I.P.”) and hits from his mixtape, “Section.80,” and his debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d. City.” The rapper surprised fans with guest appearances by TDE members Jay Rock (for “Money Trees”) and SZA. Jay Rock launched into his song, “Hood Gone Love It,” and Kendrick chimed in during his guest verse.
SZA joined Kendrick for “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and sung Janet Jackson’s sampled vocals on his single, “Poetic Justice,” sans featured artist Drake. All of Top Dawg Entertainment artists, who are known to move from event to event as a unit, performed throughout the iTunes show, except for Ab-Soul.
The hyped concertgoers continued to chant Kendrick Lamar’s name after he closed his set with his “I Am” interlude, which he does at every show. Lamar ran back on stage for an encore of “Cartoons & Cereal,” which is a fan favorite but didn’t make the cut on “good kid, m.A.A.d city.”