Kendrick Lamar compares Reading to Compton

Rapper says the 'live, live, live' individuals in the Berkshire festival remind him of hometown

Rapper Kendrick Lamar tonight (August 30) compared Reading festival to Compton, California, on account of the spirit of the people in the crowd.

Lamar’s hometown has been in the limelight recently, as the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is in cinemas.

“One thing I Love about being out here, it kinda reminds me of Compton,” Lamar said after performing ‘I’ at his hugely well-attended set as the penultimate act on the Main Stage. “As I look here it’s some of the most live, live, live individuals.”

NMEJordan Hughes/NME

Earlier, the rapper had introduced himself by saying: “I go by the name of Kendrick fucking Lamar,” as people ran, gazelle-like across the field to one of the weekend’s most hotly anticipated sets. Opening with ‘Money Tree’, Lamar told the crowd “we’ve got a long way to go,” before bouncing his way through Backstreet Freestyle’. He paused after as the crowd chanted his name to the tune of ‘Seven Nation Army’, just as happened at sister festival Leeds on Friday, and by this point the audience had swollen to a size equal to that of Friday and Saturday headliners Mumford & Sons and Metallica. “I see a lot of people who’ve been around with me since day one,” he said, by way of approval.

‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ and a version of ASAP Rocky’s ‘Fuckin’ Problems’ intensified the crowd’s enthusiasm, as did ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’, before which Lamar said he was checking the energy from each side of the audience to “make sure nobody goes home with their vibe killed”.

As night fell, the music took a darker turn, and ‘mAAd City’ saw Lamar bathed in red light as his guitarist took a solo. Later, ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst’ saw many of the crowd holding lighters aloft.

‘King Kunta’ closed the set, after which Lamar returned for an unscheduled encore of ‘ADHD’, from his 2011 project ‘Section .80’. “My name is Kendrick Lamar. I love y’all. I’ll be back,” he told the crowd.