Last night, Kendrick Lamar’s "Kunta’s Groove Sessions" rolled into Washington, D.C. By the time Lincoln Theater opened their doors, there was a line of excited fans spanning the popular U Street blocks.
Immediately, the theater filled with people and chatter in anticipation of Lamar. The stage was adorned with '70s furniture and a bright fluorescent light with the words “Pimps Only” in the shape of an arrow.
Lamar entered the stage while his band played an Earth, Wind, and Fire-esque melody. Once the music stopped, he walked to the mic and proclaimed, “This dick ain’t free!” The crowd immediately erupted--he has their attention.
For the remainder of the night Lamar treated fans to a real California groove session with "To Pimp A Butterfly" as the soundtrack. Crowd favorites such as “These Walls” and “King Kunta” were highlights of the show. Rhapsody surprised fans and performed her verse during Lamar’s performance of “Complexion”.
He even sprinkled in hits from his first album, "Good Kid M.A.A.D City," such as “Swimming Pools” and “M.A.A.D City”.
One of the more standout moments was Lamar showing his vulnerable side. He discussed what led him to make TPAB, what he described as a “therapeutic album.” He explained that the accolades after the success of GKMC was too overwhelming because he did not believe in himself like everyone else did.
Lamar said to his fans, “I didn’t think I was good enough.” Following some self-destructive habits, he soon realized his purpose was to inspire others through his music.
“If a kid from the streets of Compton can achieve his goals, so can you,” he said.
Towards the end of his set Lamar left the stage, but there was a noticeably missing song. Soon after, a slow inaudible chant began and eventually filled the theater.
Fans singing in unison “We gon' be alright! We gon' be alright!” was accompanied by clapping as the theater begged for Lamar’s return to the stage.
As he walked back on stage he stood there for a few minutes, as if it was the very first time he realized the magnitude of his own music. The crowd continued to chant and cheered him on as he launched into the Pharrell-produced hit “Alright” before he bid D.C. a final adieu.