Kendrick Lamar’s Vibes Were Restored, But That Wasn’t Enough

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, September 6

Kendrick Lamar performs at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas_Kabik 4_LR

Photo by Erik Kabik/ Retna /

In a speech near the end of his set, a sweaty Kendrick Lamar repeated, “What represents love is smiling. What represents love is laughter.”  Part of Kevin Hart’s “Hartbeat Weekend,” Lamar was all smiles throughout the night. With a full band this time, “King Kendrick” blessed fans with a set comprised mostly of songs from the acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city. Renditions of “Money Trees” and a reworked “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” sounded lush thanks to tight musicians. However, Lamar’s set proved to be a double-edged sword as songs showed their age. This was the case for the second-half of his set as “The Recipe” and “Compton” came off insubstantial. GKMC’s follow-up is rumored to come out later this year and since the album came out two years ago, the night would have been the perfect time to debut new material.  That didn’t happen. Throw in a lackluster performance by opener Keri Hilson, and though Lamar redeemed himself for last year’s letdown performance, it just wasn’t enough. ★★★✩✩


Money Trees
Backseat Freestyle
m.A.A.d city (Second Part)
The Art of Peer Pressure
Swimming Pools
Fuckin’ Problems (Lamar’s verse from the A$AP Rocky hit)
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe
Poetic Justice
Hail Mary (Tupac cover)
m.A.A.d city (First Part)
Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst
The Recipe

Photos by Erik Kabik/ Retna/ 

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