Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Pop Out’ was the hip-hop event of the decade

From appearances by Dr Dre and Tyler, The Creator to Lamar performing ‘Not Like Us’ no less than five times, the show was a moment that will go down in hip-hop history.

Waking up this morning as a hip-hop fan practically felt like Christmas. Videos flooded the timeline of Kendrick Lamar’s one-off ‘Pop Out’ show at the Kia Forum in his hometown of LA, and just about everybody did pop out. While his first performances of his Drake disses took the headlines, the performance – which took place on Juneteenth – will go down in hip-hop (more specifically West Coast hip-hop) history, as Lamar celebrated Los Angeles and its influence on rap culture as a whole. 

As the Pulitzer Prize winner rapped lyrics from his undeniable hit ‘Not Like Us’, a total of five times (his first time doing so), several of his peers hopped on the Kia Forum stage to rap along with him enthusiastically, c-walk to the beat, and conclude the night with an epic group photo of L.A. legends. Some of the people on stage included DJ Mustard (who produced the record), Black Hippy (Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q), Compton rapper YG, L.A. Clipper Russell Westbrook, singer Steve Lacy, radio host Big Boy, choreographer Charm La’Donna, and allegedly members of every gang in L.A. Scroll on below for all of the best moments.

Black Hippy Reunite

Lamar staged a long-awaited Black Hippy reunion to rapturous applause. One by one, he was joined on stage by Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q. They performed a medley of songs, including ‘Money Trees’, ‘Win’, ‘King’s Dead’, ‘6:16 In LA’, ‘Collard Greens’, ‘That Part’, and ‘King Kunta’.

Tyler, The Creator almost caused an earthquake

Performing hits like ‘WusYaName’ from his album Call Me If You Get Lost and ‘Earfquake’ from IGOR, Tyler’s set was a highlight of the evening. It’s easy to forget Tyler is from California given his unconventional style, but the reception he received was a true hero’s welcome.

Dre and Kendrick

Seeing two Compton legends performing on one stage together was legendary, and Dre even performed the intro to ‘Not Like Us’. Dre had a hand in Kendrick’s discovery and success, so there’s that too.

Roddy Ricch’s return

Much like Tyler’s appearance, Roddy Ricch’s performance must have caused the whole of California to go up on the Richter Scale when he popped out to his anthemic hit, ‘The Box’.

Lamar performed ‘Not Like Us’ five times

If there was ever any question about who has the song of the summer, that debate is now well and truly over. Performing his mega-smash Drake diss no less than five times, Kendrick really put the nail in the coffin, even letting the crowd recite the entire track line for line at one point. Has anyone checked on Drake? We hope he’s doing okay.

The emotions

In an emotional moment, Kendrick shared love for Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant. “This shit making me emotional. We’ve been fucked up since Nipsey died, hold up. We’ve been fucked up since Kobe died, hold up.” Juneteenth alone made for an emotional and joyous celebration, as Kendrick’s words throughout the show celebrated Black freedom and unity.

WriterChris Saunders
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