Kendrick Lamar - Roseland Ballroom - 2/26/13

Last night at about 5pm in a rainy Midtown, a line -- full of kids and adults alike in oversized hats, fur hoodies, ironic t-shirts, skinny jeans, and any other article of clothing Vice might consider a "do" --stretched down the block from the Roseland Ballroom. The mass amount of people continued, whipping around the corner, up Broadway another block, and around another corner, down 52nd Street about halfway, finally ending near the backdoors of Roseland, where massive beats from a hype DJ leaked through the cracks in the doors.

See also: Pazz & Jop: Kendrick Lamar, Finally Compton's Most Wanted

The reason for this commotion? Kendrick Lamar had arrived in town to play his first official New York show since the release of his critically-lauded, mainstream-approved debut good kid, m.A.A.d city this past fall. So much hype surrounded the rapper that he decided to perform two shows in one night, one early and one late. Tickets for each went for about 70 bucks, and outside the venue, people haggled for nearly twice their value.

Before the early show's packed, sweaty house, Lamar stood in a simple outfit: a white t-shirt and black hat with a white "NY" sprawled across the front. Towering on the edge of the stage, he pounded his chest, "This is like my second mother fucking home." He bounced around, thrusting his hands in the air, trying to get the rest of the crowd to do the same. Somebody commented about how, since the last time they saw him perform in New York, his flow and control of the crowd had improved immensely. Next to me, less insightful conversation happened as a couple danced and aggressively made-out, taking breaks from their kisses to rap along with Lamar, fumbling their way through the lyrics.

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