SNL Sound-off: Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" and a Lonely Island Cameo

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In the first two weeks of its new season, Saturday Night Live has given us a pair of polar opposites for musical guests: The Lumineers and Kendrick Lamar. The dichotomy goes beyond differences in genre and has more to do with the fact that one band showed up to work on a Saturday night and one didn't, as far as taste and talent are concerned. Instead of being all "HEY GUYS LET ME SHOW YOU HOW I FEEL THROUGH MY EYEBROWS" and stomping around emphatically over a few basic chord progressions as the Lumineers did last week, Lamar hit the SNL stage with a full band and eased into a set that flipped from cool and calculated to sultry and smooth in the matter of a downbeat.

See also:
- Pazz & Jop: Kendrick Lamar, Finally Compton's Most Wanted
- Kendrick Lamar Wants Us All To Say "Bitch"

Hot off a cameo in the Lonely Island's video for "YOLO" (in which we get a great shot of what he'll look like as an old dude) that debuted just minutes prior, Lamar and the TDE Crew launched into "Swimming Pools" awash in blue with little more than a beat and the metallic spark of a cymbal behind them. Swaying through it while dropping a "Drink" here and there, the lead single off good kid, m.A.A.d city was a fitting choice for SNL Song #1 in that it provided Lamar the opportunity to warm up himself and the room in equal measure. Metronome-like precision is one of the reasons why the guy is so damn likeable, and Lamar didn't disappoint as the verses gradually stacked up before effortlessly bursting into a volley of rhymes you couldn't help but dance on your couch to a little bit.


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