Kendrick Lamar makes Leeds Festival debut as he delivers triumphant Main Stage set

Compton rapper appeared in second slot behind headliners The Libertines

Kendrick Lamar played his first ever set at Leeds Festival tonight, performing material from across his three studio albums.

Dressed in a simple grey hoodie and white shorts, the Compton rapper opened his set with ‘Money Trees’ before launching into ‘Backseat Freestyle’. Backed by a four piece band, many of the songs in the set were given a rock makeover with the heavy percussive sounds of ‘Backseat Freestyle’ replaced by distorted guitars and heavy drums. Lamar ended the song by spelling out “Compton” over a wall of feedback.

“Put one hand up,” Lamar commanded before the start of ‘m.A.A.d City (Part 2)’ as fans sang his name to the tune of White Stripes’ hit ‘Seven Nation Army’. “Put two hands up!” he then added. “The energy is right. We’re going to have a good time. I see a lot of familiar faces. People who have been here since day one.”

NMEPooneh Ghana/NME

Lamar dived into his 2012 album ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ for the majority of his set playing ‘The Art Of Peer Pressure’, ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ and ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill my Vibe’ with his verse from A$AP Rocky’s ‘Fucking Problems’ appearing in between.

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‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ got one of the biggest cheers of the night while lamar himself said that the reaction to ‘m.A.A.d City (Part 1) was the loudest he had heard so far on his world tour.

As has become standard with Lamar’s live sets in 2015, songs from new album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ were kept to a minimum with just ‘King Kunta’, ‘Alright’ and a lively rendition of ‘i’ featuring at Bramham Park.

However, having paid tribute to his “day one fans” throughout the set, Lamar gave the long term suppoters a treat as he ended the set with an encore performance of ‘A.D.H.D’, taken from 2011 studio debut ‘Section.80’. The song was extended to include a jazzy interlude that ran through to the end of the song and conclude Lamar’s inaUgural Leeds set.

Kendrick Lamar played:


‘Money Trees’
‘Backseat Freestyle’
‘m.A.A.d City (Part 2)’
‘The Art Of Peer Pressure’
‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’
‘Fucking Problems’
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’
Poetic Justice
‘m.A.A.d City (Part 1)’
‘Sing About Me’
‘King Kunta’