Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Watch Kendrick Lamar's performance with the National Symphony Orchestra

Watch Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center balcony in Washington, D.C.

The one-night-only performance had sold out within seven minutes
and had 2,002 people in attendance

CBS News writer Bethlem Dereje reported this as seen.

''NSO conductor Steven Reineke led a medley of songs off Lamar's 2015 release, "To Pimp a Butterfly," before introducing Lamar to a wave of thunderous applause.

Dragging the microphone stand behind him as he entered, Lamar began the show with his lyrical interlude "For Free?" -- a pithy summation of his set list's political message on the African-American experience. With lyrics like "Livin' in captivity raised my cap salary / Celery, tellin' me green is all I need" and "I need 40 acres and a mule/Not a 40 ounce and a pitbull," Lamar rapped at a furious speed with high energy, setting the tone for the evening. And the jazzy frenzy of the poetic opener slid effortlessly into the funky "Wesley's Theory"-- proving just how that the NSO could do more than keep up.

Reineke's enthusiastic leadership combined with the impeccable arrangements of Lamar's stylistically wide-ranging songbook showcased the dynamic partnership onstage. This was perhaps best exemplified during "Blacker the Berry."

The swell of the horns mixed with the feverish, staccato of the string section complemented the urgency of Lamar's intense lyrics.

By the time he played crowd favorites "King Kunta" and "m.A.A.d. City" came during the encore, all semblance of decorum went out the window with fans on their feet -- arms in the air, knees loose and bouncing.

But perhaps the highlight came when Lamar took the mic at the end the night -- not to spit another harrowing verse, but to ask the crowd for quiet. And the audience members in the concert hall obliged. As the collective silence settled over the crowd, Lamar said, "I did 'To Pimp a Butterfly' for these moments right here."