No less than this year's hottest MC, Kendrick Lamar, graced the Paid Dues Independent Hip-Hop Festival in San Bernardino, California on Saturday, March 30. The West Coast rap artist, together with the rap duo of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were among the rookies who performed alongside such veterans as Immortal Technique and De La Soul at the San Manuel Amphitheatre from the music fest's previous venue at the National Orange Show.
Lamar performed his hit "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe" as part of Los Angeles rap crew Black Hippy's headlining set. In a simple, low-key white hooded shirt, the "Poetic Justice" rapper showed the crowd why he was named by MTV's Hip-Hop Brain Trust as the best MC today.
Meanwhile, the funky pair of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dished out their hit "Thrift Shop" to kick off their performance. "We didn't sign sh*t. That sh*t went to No. 1 on the strength of the people," Macklemore declared to the jam-packed crowd, highlighting their success story. "We put out that song, and it went No. 1 on Billboard and it's an independent record."
The rap twosome then went on with their set that consisted of such tunes as the seemingly simple yet deep single "Wings", "Can't Hold Us" with Ray Dalton and the timely song "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert, in a week that saw the Supreme Court facing gay marriage cases. The 29-year-old Seattle-based Macklemore, who admittedly spent most of his twenties fighting drug addiction, also performed his anti-drug anthem "Other Side" for the thousands in the audience.
Kendrick Lamar performs "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe":
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performs "Thrift Shop":