Kendrick Lamar - Karmaloop Verge Campus Tour, Florida Atlantic University - April 4 | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Kendrick Lamar - Karmaloop Verge Campus Tour, Florida Atlantic University - April 4

The parking lot outside FAU's Kaye Auditorium rippled with three inches of flood waters from the evening's flash thunderstorm. Late in the afternoon, a blanket of darkness over North Broward suburbia brought 60 mph winds and hail the size of quarters.

Still, out of the cool darkness of the night, a stream of coeds glowed in neon crop tops and snapbacks, moving through the drizzle toward the shelter of the student center where Kendrick Lamar would be performing as part of Karmaloop's Verge Campus Tour Sponsored by NEFF Headwear. This was his first stop on a two-month tour across 27 universities beginning in Boca Raton and concluding in Watertown, New York.

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Inside, an air of stale sweat mingled with the damp, frenetic crowd of

youths, recalling the musk of a high school gymnasium on a hot

afternoon. Despite the strict no-bags, no outsiders policy, the

auditorium radiated pure energy: throngs of girls skipped in, laughing,

dancing, and holding hands; boys wore plastic sunglasses to hide their

bloodshot eyes. 

I settled into my seat, attempting

to come to terms with the cup of beer I would not be holding throughout

the duration of this no re-entry campus concert experience. EDM and Top

40 DJ and producer 5 & A Dime began his set, causing everyone to

abandon their seats and rush up to the barricades in front of the stage.

5 & A

Dime's set sounded like a slightly less ironic version of Harmony

Korine's Skrillex-filled Spring Breakers soundtrack, transforming the

auditorium into a surrealist rave playground of rowdy students hanging

over railings and breaking into tripped out dubstep dance-offs in the

middle of the aisles. The Philly-based DJ nerdily concluded his set with

some remix overlaid with the theme music from Tetris, hyping up the

crowd for Kendrick, even though we would have to wait another hour for

the up-and-coming Compton rapper to take the stage.
As the crowd

grew restless with waiting, pressing up into each other to get closer to

the stage, one girl created a frenzy when she decided to flash everyone

in protest for not being allowed access to the closer rows that

security had begun to block off.

When Kendrick finally took the

stage, his raw, unrestrained energy perfectly matched that of the FAU

crowd, who somehow, surprisingly, knew all of the lyrics to his songs, and made it

known. The rapper demanded our attention with his original and

effortless flow -- a completely refreshing sound like a cross between Bone

Thugs and Outkast -- even though at 5 foot 6 and age 25, he looked

more like one of the students rather than the artist some rap veterans

have begun calling the new "King of California."
He started out

with tracks from earlier in his career like "P & P (Pussy &

Patron)" and his breakout 2011 track "A.D.H.D.," asking the audience,

"Who's been a fan since day one?" He received an answer of impassioned screams.

When Kendrick said "Raise up your threes," the crowd obeyed, lifting

their three-fingered hands in the air, screaming louder when Kendrick

said, "Didn't y'all know this was going to be the loudest show?"


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Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Contact: Falyn Freyman

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