The 2015 Essence Festival ended with youth. Kendrick Lamar, with only two major label albums in his catalog, not only handled the weight of the honor, but lifted it with ease. The Compton rapper brought his pensive raps and good vibes to rock.
“Money Trees” got things started, but provided no shade from the heat that would follow. “Poetic Justice” made the grown and sexy 40-something’s bop just like those half their age. Lamar even played a bit of 2Pac’s classic “Hail Mary.” It’ll be a while, but Kendrick’s making strides towards being on rap’s Mount Rushmore alongside the slain Cali-feeling legend. He needed and had no guests.
Kendrick’s empowering “Alright” revved up spirits, before letting the crowd come down and head home. The festival’s over. But the energy that spread throughout the weekend should last a good while