Kendrick Lamar Celebrates Victory Over Drake with Star-Studded Live-Streamed Concert

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In the wake of his recent triumph over rival rap superstar Drake, Kendrick Lamar transformed his Juneteenth “Pop Out” concert at The Forum in Inglewood, California into a captivating and cathartic live-streamed event — a euphoric celebration of unity within the city of Los Angeles.

Lamar expertly crafted a three-hour musical journey featuring a brilliant blend of budding LA talent and already well-established stars, which included Tyler, The Creator, Steve Lacy, and YG. The 37-year-old wordsmith didn’t just play the role of curator, seamlessly commandeering the stage for his own dynamic turn at the mic. Powering through a robust set with his Black Hippy collaborators —Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock— Lamar was unflinchingly bold in his performance, showcasing his Drake diss tracks “Euphoria” and “6:16 in LA.”

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The juncture in the evening when he was joined by Dr. Dre on stage was spellbinding. Both iconic West Coast figures united for performances of “Still D.R.E.” and “California Love”. Dre paid high compliments to Lamar, calling him “one of the greatest that ever did it” – this sentiment could almost be heard above the raucous cheer of the crowd. But then, masterfully manipulating the room’s energy into a solemn hush, Dre requested a moment of silence.

This poignant pause, however, was merely a ruse. The charismatic icon playfully drifted into the cryptic “Sixth Sense” quote which serves as the introductory words to Lamar’s chart-storming “Not Like Us”: “I see dead people.”

This message resonated with the 17,000-strong crowd, a mix of fans and celebrities including The Weeknd, LeBron James, Ayo Edebiri, and Rick Ross, who passionately recited back every word of the sharp yet jubilant DJ Mustard-produced piece. So captivated in the collective euphoria, Lamar performed it thrice in full.

As he owned the stage in a vibrant red hoodie, Lamar was encased in an electrifying aura brimming off his league of special guests that included NBA stars Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan, DJ Mustard, rapper Roddy Ricch and a youthful dance troupe led by renowned krumping trendsetter Tommy the Clown.

His words drove home the essence of the event. Addressing Drake’s use of an AI tool to mimic 2Pac’s voice on a diss record, and the purchase of 2Pac’s jewelry, he declared, “Y’all ain’t gon’ let nobody disrespect the West Coast. Y’all ain’t gon’ let nobody imitate our legends, huh… Give me 2Pac’s ring back and I might give you a little respect.”

However, his concert wasn’t solely about rivalry, but mainly about unity, calling various attendees on stage for a group photograph. “Let the world see this… For all of us to be on stage together, unity, from East Side… LA, Crips, Bloods, Piru, this is special, man…That’s what this was about, to bring all of us together.”

He concluded with an affirmative promise, “I promise you this won’t be the last of us.” The infectious notes of the “Not Like Us” instrumental filled the atmosphere once more as attendees mouthed the lyrics while making their exit.

The saga between Lamar and Drake, a cold war of sorts, has been a decade-long fuel to the fire of the hip-hop realm, with subtle yet undeniable mockery woven into their respective major hits. However, their growth in the rap world has taken different trajectories; Drake’s constant influx of singles and collaborations reflecting the rapid evolution of pop music whereas Lamar prefers introspective concept albums and a low-key digital presence.

Yet now, with the easing pace of Drake’s hits, Lamar saw his opportunity and didn’t hesitate, releasing “Like That” in March, a combined effort with Future and Metro Boomin. Lamar set his viewpoint straight, perceiving Drake as an outsider who’s profiting from the hip-hop culture but lacks an authentic core identity. “You run to Atlanta when you need a few dollars… you not a colleague, you a… colonizer,” he rather bluntly laid out in his final verse of “Not Like Us”.