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Kendrick Lamar Plays Drake Diss ‘Not Like Us’ at Juneteenth ‘Pop Out’

Kendrick Lamar Plays Drake Diss ‘Not Like Us’ at Juneteenth ‘Pop Out’

Kendrick Lamar Plays Drake Diss ‘Not Like Us’ at Juneteenth ‘Pop Out’

Kendrick Lamar may have begun his set during Wednesday evening’s “Ken & Friends – The Pop Out” with a performance of “Euphoria”— one of multiple diss tracks the Compton lyricist has aimed at Drake amid their recent rap beef — but the focus of the Juneteenth event was to showcase unity among West Coast talent, more than two dozen of whom made an appearance at the concert.

“This is unity, y’all just don’t know man,” Lamar said as a group photo captured the more than 25 artists from across L.A. who performed at the show while instructing everybody on stage to say, “One West.”

“Everybody got fallen sons but we’re right here, right now celebrating all of them, this shit is special,” he added.

Among the friends who performed at the show — held at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, which simultaneously streamed on Amazon — were Tyler, the Creator, YG, Roddy Ricch, Ty Dolla $ign, Dom Kennedy and Steve Lacy, who came out during a set curated by L.A. producer DJ Mustard, who also held a moment in memory of slain Crenshaw rapper Nipsey Hussle. During his set, Lamar reunited with Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, with whom he’d formed the hip-hop supergroup Black Hippy under the Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) record label in 2008. He also brought out Dr. Dre who performed “Still D.R.E.” and “California Love” before he teed up Lamar’s grand finale performance of the viral Drake diss “Not Like Us” by whispering the intro line, “I see dead people.”

Lamar went on to rap the track an additional four times, stating in between the encore performances, “Y’all ain’t gonna let anyone disrespect the West Coast huh? Oh y’all ain’t gonna let nobody mock or imitate our legends huh?” as he drew out one of the standout lyrics of the song, “Tryna strike a chord and it’s probably A minor” – a double entendre playing off of an earlier reference in the track that alleges Drake likes underage girls— with each refrain.

Momentum for Lamar’s first live performance of the diss had been building throughout the night as the crowd began chanting “OV-hoe”— another lyric from “Not Like Us”— at various points in the evening. Early on, Lamar remixed one of the lyrics to “Euphoria,” with a new jab toward Drake, reciting, “Give me Tupac’s ring back and I might give you a little respect.” He also rapped his verse to Future and Metro Boomin’s single “Like That,” which was the impetus for the current rap beef. Outside of those targeted moments, Lamar kept the energy up during his set with renditions of hits such as “M.A.A.d City,” “Be Humble,” “DNA.,” “Element.,” “Money Trees,” “Swimming Pools,” “King Kunta” and “King’s Dead.”

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The night began with opening performances by 15 local L.A. acts alongside L.A.’s DJ Hed. The lineup, which included Ray Vaughn, Cuzzos, Westside Boogie, Zoe Osama, RJMRLA, OhGeesy, and Jason Martin, underscored the purpose of the Juneteenth showcase.

“Let them see this,” Lamar said as he reunited performers across various L.A. neighborhoods and affiliations on stage at the end of the concert. “We put this together with peace… I promise this won’t be the last of us.”

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