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Concerts

5 Things You Need to Know about Kendrick Lamar’s Juneteenth ‘Pop Out’ at Kia Forum in L.A.

In a show called "The Pop Out" Kendrick did just that and Inglewood and the culture will forever be grateful.

Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during day three of Rolling Loud Miami 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium on July 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during day three of Rolling Loud Miami 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium on July 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Jason Koerner/Getty Images

In a show called “The Pop Out,” Kendrick Lamar did just that and Inglewood and the culture will forever be grateful.

Billboard caught all the action from the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, and breaks-out five of the highlights.


He’s What The “Culture Feelin’”

Though the crowd was not in its entirety a Black one, the spirit of Juneteenth was a big part of the evening considering the historical relevance of the holiday. From the excited vendors leading up to the venue, to the smiles on everyone’s faces once they entered the building, the feeling was unity. People of all ages and backgrounds fought off a lot of ticket resellers for the chance to experience this day together and you could feel that energy. The choice to have this show on this day was undeniable.

Mustard is One of L.A.’s Best Producers

The producer behind the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Not Like Us” is no stranger to Hip-Hop, but when his billing said “and Friends” it meant just that. The California crowd got to see just how prolific his career has been to this point. Ty Dolla $ign, Tyler the Creator, Roddy Ricch, YG, and more joined him on hit after hit to warm the crowd up for his biggest hit yet.

Kendrick Reunited Black Hippy

Throughout the night, Kendrick brought up day ones and this moment was definitely for those people. He reunited his rap supergroup that formed in 2008 and consisted of ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, & Jay Rock.

He Brought Out Dr. Dre

As if the show hadn’t packed enough punch the Kia Forum almost lost its top as Dr. Dre appeared next to Kendrick and the recognizable cords of “Still D.R.E.” grabbed the attention of the audience. The rap legend knew exactly what the people wanted and then went into “California Love”. But before he could leave the stage Kendrick asked him a favor. Dre whisper “psssss….I see dead people” and the room exploded.

He Performed “Not Like Us” Five Times

If there was any doubt that Kendrick would shy away from his extensive beef with Drake, that evaporated as soon as he rose from the stage and started the lyrics of “Euphoria”.

Now his set didn’t stray away from his hits like “DNA”, “King Kunta”, and “Humble.” And with the occasion being Juneteenth in many ways his performance of “Alright” hit the exact cultural note that people were waiting on “Not Like Us” to deliver.

But after also swinging into “6:16 in LA” the crowd went feral when “Mustard on the Beat” was heard on the speakers and “Not Like Us” began. The audience hung on every word and even extended his iconic “a-minor” line acapella. But nobody expected him to repeat the song 5 times. He continued to bring it back and the energy never dipped. The song even played as he excited the stage and the instrumental served as the soundtrack for fans exiting the venue.

Not sure anybody was questioning it at this point, but he does seem to really hate Drake. What was unexpected is that a song about who he refers to as a “colonizer” has turned into what is clearly the anthem of Juneteenth.

As he ended the show he stated: “It ain’t got nothing to do with no back and forth records. It’s got everything to do with this moment right here. That’s what this shit was about. To bring all of us together.”

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This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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