Kendrick Lamar - Karmaloop Verge Campus Tour, Florida Atlantic University - April 4
Still, out of the cool darkness of the night, a stream of coeds glowed in neon crop tops and snapbacks, moving through the drizzle toward the shelter of the student center where Kendrick Lamar would be performing as part of Karmaloop's Verge Campus Tour Sponsored by NEFF Headwear. This was his first stop on a two-month tour across 27 universities beginning in Boca Raton and concluding in Watertown, New York.
5 & A Dime's set sounded like a slightly less ironic version of Harmony Korine's Skrillex-filled Spring Breakers soundtrack, transforming the auditorium into a surrealist rave playground of rowdy students hanging over railings and breaking into tripped out dubstep dance-offs in the middle of the aisles. The Philly-based DJ nerdily concluded his set with some remix overlaid with the theme music from Tetris, hyping up the crowd for Kendrick, even though we would have to wait another hour for the up-and-coming Compton rapper to take the stage.
When Kendrick finally took the stage, his raw, unrestrained energy perfectly matched that of the FAU crowd, who somehow, surprisingly, knew all of the lyrics to his songs, and made it known. The rapper demanded our attention with his original and effortless flow -- a completely refreshing sound like a cross between Bone Thugs and Outkast -- even though at 5 foot 6 and age 25, he looked more like one of the students rather than the artist some rap veterans have begun calling the new "King of California."