Tomorrow night Kendrick Lamar's "Kunta Groove Sessions" concludes. The tour has been made up of small, intimate run of shows where he's backed by a band and performs songs from To Pimp a Butterfly. The final date is fittingly, in his home state of California, but more than a homecoming, could it also be the final time Kendrick Lamar performs To Pimp a Butterfly in its entirety?
We went to see a "Kunta's Groove" show last week and backed by his band - which he's dubbed the Wesley Theory - Lamar's show has had a fair amount of acclaim, both for the "endearing and jarring" performance and the "brutally honest soliloquies between songs". The band have given the rich, soul and jazz inspired songs the depth they deserve, bringing them alive in a way a backing track could not. From those between song soliloquies, it's clear just how intimate and personal the "Kunta Groove Sessions" have been to Kendrick - and how draining they've been too. On several nights he has said "this may be the first and last time I perform To Pimp a Butterfly". So if you haven't seen it already, you might never get a chance to.
Kendrick told a crowd in New York last week: "To Pimp a Butterfly. People have said a lot about this album. They said album of the year, album of this generation and all that shit - that's cool, but on some real shit, making this motherfucking album was therapy. Not only for you, but for me". He goes on to explain how his life changed within "six months" after good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped, and how that transitionary period lead to the writing and recording of To Pimp a Butterfly. Later he talks about how "God allowed" To Pimp a Butterfly to reach the number one spot in the chart with no radio single and how "music is for the people".
Watch the full thing above (you can skip the first minute or so tbh).