Eliezer Santiago – Photography Editor –
Kendrick Lamar, the “good kid” from Compton, graced the stage at Toad’s Place on Thursday, Jan. 10. The doors opened at 8 p.m., but eager fans started to line up at 6:30 p.m. to see the rising star. Upon arrival at 7:45 p.m., the line wrapped around Toad’s into the back alleyway toward Yale University.
In past interviews, Lamar has been very appreciative of his diverse fan base, and while waiting in line, it’s apparent how far and wide his music reaches people. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Caucasians, and everything in between were in line braving the cold winter night.
The scene was reminiscent of Kendrick’s track “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” where he says “Don’t you see that long line? And they’re waiting on Kendrick like the first and the fifteenth.”
The line was growing anxious as 8 p.m. grew closer and closer.
By 9 p.m. the line flowed into the venue. The sea of people stood on the floor patiently waiting for Kendrick Lamar to take the stage. In the mean time, DJ Joey Franchize from Hot 93.7 spun old and new Hip Hop from Notorious B.I.G. to A$AP Rocky to get the crowd hyped. Franchize got the crowd moving playing new party tracks like “I’m Different” by 2 Chainz and “All Gold Everything” from Trinidad Jame$. The room filled with smoke and drinks spilt as the crowd jumped up and down to the music that played.
Soon enough, the crowd grew restless waiting.
“We want Kendrick! We want Kendrick!” The crowd chanted in anticipation.
Once the chanting became thunderous, the lights dimmed. A roar filled Toad’s Place as Kendrick took to the stage. Fans raised their hands with three fingers in the air: an ode to Kendrick’s mantra of “HiiiPower.”
“It feels good to be home again with ya’ll! Let’s start from the beginning,” Kendrick yelled as he took to stage. He opened up the set with his track “Hol Up” off his album “Section.80,” and continued to play tracks that core fans knew.
“It was dope that he played a lot of older tracks for his fans,” said Edwin Baez, 23, a concert attendee.
“I know a lot of ya’ll just started listening to me, but I have some crazy fans from day one so this is for ya’ll,” said Kendrick. Even though he released his debut album “Good Kid m.A.A.d. City” in October, Kendrick’s set consisted of older tracks from earlier mixtapes and independent albums “Overly Dedicated” and “Section.80.”
The energy in the room never died down as fan favorites like “ADHD,” “Backseat Freestyle,” “Cut You Off,” and “M.A.A.d. City” played.
Kendrick played to the crowd keeping them going strong throughout his entire performance. Hands never fell below the shoulders and there was never a shortage of people singing along with the rapper. At times he stopped and the crowd continued the song with out him.
It was an energy filled night. In his second performance at Toad’s Place, Kendrick Lamar catered to core and new fans alike. As the show came to an end Kendrick said his thanks and left. The lights dimmed and the crowd chanted “Kendrick, Kendrick, Kendrick.” Not wanting to leave his fans wanting more he took to the stage again to perform his song “Cartoons & Cereal.”
Upon leaving Kendrick thanked his fans, “Ya’ll are so good to me every time I come. They said once you go mainstream things change, but we made the mainstream come to us. No matter how far I go I’ll always come back here.”