Kendrick Lamar Debuts 'Not Like Us' at Juneteenth Concert

Kendrick Lamar lights up LA with explosive performances

by Zain ul Abedin
Kendrick Lamar Debuts 'Not Like Us' at Juneteenth Concert
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In a landmark performance that may be etched into the annals of rap history, Kendrick Lamar unveiled his provocative single "Not Like Us" during the Juneteenth celebration concert titled The Pop Out: Ken & Friends. The show was held at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, and while announced on short notice, the show was live-streamed on Twitch via Amazon Music and was a global affair.

Lamar sang the controversial song five times throughout the concert, making each performance energized compared to the other. Lamar even stopped in the middle of the first verse to rap, this time on the word "A Minor," which is a blatant shot at Drake, implying that he is a "Creep." The interaction intensified the engagement of the audience and the second one was chanted extensively by the crowd.

By the third, the stage exploded in a blast of fire and guys, ending with a reference to strength and togetherness on their part. The fourth and fifth performances were more Californian, with guest performances from YG, Steve Lacy, Roddy Rich, Schoolboy Q, and NBA star Russell Westbrook - transforming the performance into a celebration of West Coast kinship.

Kendrick's Fiery Set

The starting act was Lamar’s “Euphoria,” an open shot at Drake that foreshadowed the events of the night to come. Making it fiery with red lights, fireworks, and smoke, Lamar proceeded to other hits like "DNA," "Alright," and "King Kunta," sharing the stage with other TDE signers, including Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q.

Although the song "Not Like Us," which was performed by Lamar, incited an angry response to Drake in a public space, he had a different agenda performed on that platform – embracing Los Angeles’ diverse hip-hop family.

He stated the music and street cultures have suffered some losses and assured more cooperation in the future to support every talented soul that is gone. "Not Like Us" clearly has value, as the song has climbed to the top of the H-t 100 and the Rhythmic Airplay charts, proving not only the reach of the hip-hop genre but Lamar’s place in it as well.

In response, Drake released a song, "The Heart Part 6," where he details the ills of Lamar, including violating women and cheating on his partner – a clear portrayal of rivalry between the two musicians.