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Kendrick Lamar’s pop-up concert

Written by Kimberly Quitzon, Secretary 

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Kendrick Lamar surprises his fans with a free concert-on-wheels. Photos by Mark Escalante

As a spontaneous act of artistry, Kendrick Lamar held a concert through the streets of West Hollywood. Without revealing the soon-to-be concert, Kendrick announced to fans on twitter saying “9pm. meet me here. 8950 Sunset Blvd. 930pm. meet me here. 8466 Melrose Ave.” The release of his new album To Pimp a Butterfly drew fans to attend his mysterious event.

From Sunset Blvd. to Melrose Ave., fans followed the mobile stage promoting Reebok’s new “The Pump” shoe with the hashtag #GetPumped on the side of the truck. Fans lined up on Melrose Ave. in front of Reebok’s concept store anticipating what Kendrick had to offer. Security guards told fans the event was private and warned them to clear the sidewalk before the police came. As they tried to move the guests across the street, unknowing fans stood their ground until they heard Kendrick come down the street.

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Security guards try to control the wave of fans as they await for Kendrick’s appearance.

Police lights surrounded the mobile stage and fans tried to keep up with the truck while he performed M.A.A.D City. After the pushing and shoving of excited fans, the stage parked in the Reebok lot and Kendrick continued to perform tracks from his new album. Hundreds of fans crowded the barricades set by security and police shut down the street for the pop-up concert.

In the midst of the chaos, I was standing on the metal fencing when I heard “that’s Ab-Soul!” from behind me. I turned around and found Kendrick’s fellow artist standing by me. As he pushed through the fans he made a guest appearance on stage to show support for his friend. After performing a few songs in the parking lot, the power cut out and the concert ended.

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Kendrick Lamar performing songs from his latest album.

However, fans would not end their night without a glimpse of their favorite artist. In the back alley of the store, fans gathered waiting, playing music and telling stories of what they had just been a part of. After two hours of waiting in the cold wind, Kendrick finally stepped out and saw his fans lined up against the fenced alley. Without hesitation, he walked over and acknowledged nearby fans with a handshake as a symbol of gratitude. It is moments like this that remind us of how amazing Los Angeles is. Some can argue that this was a stunt of public relations, but regardless of the reason, he shared his music live and free of charge, a rare act for artists of today.

Although this was a surprise for everyone, it was not the first time he participated in a pop-up concert. Last April, in front of the Staples Center, he made a guest appearance in Schoolboy Q’s surprise concert to promote his album Oxymoron. Thus, we look forward to more events like this as these artists show appreciation for their dedicated fans.

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