Despite their stellar performances, the TDE Squad missed a couple rare opportunities to be considered the best show to hit South Florida all year.
Upon pulling up to the Coral Sky Amphitheater, I was ecstatic to finally see the entire TDE roster perform live together one one stage for the Championship Tour. A few days prior, I prepared myself to witness the West Coast label’s top-charting artists bring their hits to life by bumping select albums and all the TDE-inspired playlists I could find in all three music streaming services in my arsenal. Needless to say, I was more than ready to see Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Lance Skiiwalker, and Zacari rip the stage on their only tour stop in South Florida.
As I walked into the venue with my date, the essence of disappointment over SZA’s unfortunate absence was already lingering over fans from the merch stands to the back of the lawn. While she took her much-needed break from the tour, SZA’s angelic aura was truly missed from the line-up. Since the update about SZA’s medical emergency was posted two days beforehand, I already expected not to hear any songs from her Grammy nominated album CRTL or her infectious hook on “All The Stars.” Yet, my eyes started to sting from all the salt in the air.
The determined, lyrical athletes on the squad use the Championship Tour to prove that teamwork makes the dream work. With one of their star players on was on the bench, the rest of the TDE team lived up to their beloved sports theme to hit the field and win (win, win, win, win). Rookie Lance SkiiWalker opened the show as the team’s sole soccer forward followed by Inglewood’s SiR. The November crooner stepped up to the mic in his customized baseball jersey while holding a bat on his shoulder. didn’t spend too much time on stage but did perform a couple songs from Her and Her Too as well as an a capella version of “Don’t Call My Phone.”
Ab-Soul aka the Master Archer turned the venue blue as he walked out to “Terrorist Threats.” The Carson, CA native stepped out looking like Robin Hood in Robin jeans with a bow at hand and arrows on his back surrounded by two, over-sized targets. After performing “Huey Knew THEN,” Soulo segues into his deep cut off the Black Panther soundtrack “Bloody Waters.” His signature stunna shades shimmer in the blue lights while he raps his stand-out verse with a crimson red river flowing rapidly behind him.
Watts’ own Jay Rock hit the
court stage while rocking to the tune of his Black Hippy-assisted banger “Vice City.” He delivered other 90059 tracks like “Easy Bake” before closing out with his most recent top-charting song “King’s Dead.” Although he recently announced his new album Redemption is dropping next month, Jay neglected to mention anything about his long awaited LP and didn’t perform his brand new single “Win.” He may have passed up the opportunity to drop some gems about his forthcoming project, but the next act decided to take advantage instead.
ScHoolboy Q gave zero fucks as he drove up to the middle of the stage in a golf cart. He kicked off his set with “THat Part” and “Dope Dealer” followed by a handful of bangers off his Oxymoron album like “Studio.” Towards the end of his set, Q confirmed that his fifth studio album is finished, and appropriately finished his set with “Man Of The Year.”
The collective anticipation for Kendrick Lamar’s performance was at an all-time high once all the lights cut out. The only source of light came from seven red lines that flashed erratically to the sounds of booming horns. After a moment of total darkness, K. Dot makes his explosive entrance with his DAMN anthem “DNA.” Mike Will’s epic bass-filled switch-up causes Kung Fu Kenny to evolve into “Pulitzer Kenny” as he unloads the final bars of the song with an oversized reminder of his landmark prize.
Kendrick delivered flawless renditions of his other new songs like “ELEMENT.” and brought out Zacari to perform “LOVE.” He blessed us with classics like “King Kunta,” “We Gon’ Be Alright,” “Backseat Freestyle,” “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and dropped his verses from Rich The Kid’s “New Freezer” and Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps.” He even brought out Q to perform “X” and Jay Rock to do the full version of “King’s Dead.” However, there’s one thing K. Dot neglected to do during his set.
Apparently, MMG’s Gunplay was in the vicinity and linked up with K. Dot on the night of the show. Since SZA couldn’t make it, TDE could’ve spared the extra time to let the Carol City veteran make a surprise appearance. It would’ve been a full-length feature film if Kendrick brought out Gunplay to perform their unforgettable collaboration “Cartoon & Cereal”!
K. Dot, Groovy Q and their band of rising rappers and singers stuck to the script to deliver the best show possible. Despite their noble efforts, TDE missed out on a couple of opportunities to make their tour stop one of the best shows South Florida has seen all year. Nonetheless, the Championship Tour’s run through the Sunshine state was definitely one to remember.