Kendrick Lamar

July 26 • Riverbend Music Center

Having friends in high places never hurts and Kendrick Lamar has the fascinating fortune to boast a friend in a really high place. In a recent interview, the Compton, Calif.-cultivated rapper described Lady Gaga as “a good friend” — a connection solidified by the Pop bigwig making an appearance during Lamar's set at the recent Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Instead of joining him onstage, Gaga observed from the sidelines, which was the natural next step after recently endorsing him on Twitter.

Gaga’s interest in the young MC stems from her fondness for “The Recipe,” the Dr. Dre-inclusive single that will be part of Lamar's impending October release, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Disappointingly, “The Recipe” isn't particularly inventive or memorable, what with its ho-hum shout-outs to his hometown, braggadocio about partying across the country and ruminations on the three great Ws of California (in case you're wondering, said “Recipe” refers to “women, weed and weather”).

Even with that, Lamar is undoubtedly one of Rap's rising superstars. His flow is rapid but smooth, he's part of the increasingly talked-about L.A. Hip-Hop collective Black Hippy, and “Swimming Pool (Drank)” off good kid shows off his smarts by letting him analyze why people get drunk, all on top of a beat built for boozed-up college parties. If Lamar's hot streak runs cool, he at least has the emergency option of cashing in on Gaga's fandom.

KENDRICK LAMAR performs Thursday, July 26 at Riverbend Music Center with guests Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Chiddy Bang, Schoolboy Q and Chevy Woods. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.

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