Kendrick Lamar
Stacy-Ann Ellis/VIBE

#BestOfBonnaroo: Day 2 Was All About Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's many performances during Bonnaroo Friday were everything. 

Kendrick Lamar knows when the moment is his. TDE's man of the hour doesn't just arrive at a festival for his set; he shuts it down and steals the spotlight from wherever else it shone prior.

From the front row looking back, it looked like all 80,000 of Bonnaroo's attendees herded around the What Stage to see Kendrick, raising up cutout faces and handmade signs reading "B--ch don't kill my vibe" and "We want the funk."

After opening with a docu-style video painting a picture of the Compton he knows, he dove right on into good kid, M.A.A.D. city with fan faves like "Money Trees," "Backseat Freestyle" and "Poetic Justice." In order to make sure that on a scale from 1 to 10, the audience was at a 20, K.Dot had the crowd play sing along for (at least) three full runs of "m.A.A.d city," with four repeats of the bridge in each one. "If Pirus and Crips all got along, they'd probably gun me down by the end of this song," the masses chanted for the umpteenth time, never letting the energy die down.

#VIBEonsite | @kendricklamar shuts the #bonnaroo stage down with a performance of "i"

A video posted by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on

To Pimp A Butterfly got slightly less airplay, but the few moments that were borne from the handful of songs were magical. Kendrick went from 0 to 100 for "i," zipping from stage right to stage left, smiling as the crowd sang along to his self-love anthem. Then Anna Wise—the vocal thread stringing TPAB together—joined Kendrick on stage for a rendition of the sultry "These Walls," sans the infectious groove of the recorded version. K. Dot's triumphant command of the colossal crowd ended on a note consistent with the event's optimistic theme: the assuring "Alright."

But Kendrick’s ownership of Bonnaroo did not cease after his own electrifying set. Compton’s MVP would later return to the stage for a shared moment with Earth, Wind & Fire. As the legendary band brought all of the aunties and uncles to the festival’s Which Stage, K. Dot met bassist Verdine White for the first time in the best way possible – by joining his set. Also adding to the occasion was Chance The Rapper, who completed the epic trifecta by freestyling with Kendrick for an almost “too good to be true” moment:

 

 

That moment when @kendricklamar and @chancetherapper join Earth, Wind and Fire on stage #Bonnaroo2015

 

A video posted by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on


Though clearly going head-to-head against Drake for this year's festival king crown, Kendrick Lamar one-upped his opposition. Peep his full set below:

“Money Trees”
“Backseat Freestyle”
“The Art Of Peer Pressure”
“Swimming Pools”
“Fuckin’ Problems”
“Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”
“Poetic Justice”
“Hail Mary” (Tupac cover)
“m.A.A.d city”
“Sing About Me”
“i”
“These Walls”
“King Kunta”
“Alright”

 

Photo Credit: Stacy-Ann Ellis

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