Kendrick Lamar Thrashes 'Arsenio' After Host Credits Him With Comeback

Compton MC plays 'm.A.A.d city' (and joins ScHoolboy Q) to effusive praise

Jordan Sargent WRITTEN BY
Jordan Sargent

You may be a big fan of Kenrdick Lamar. In fact, you may consider yourself the biggest fan of Kanye West's future tourmate. But you'll almost certainly have to compete with Arsenio Hall, who effusively praised Lamar before the Compton rapper performed "m.A.A.d city" on his new late night show Arsenio. The formerly SPIN-featured MC arrived fresh off a sly diss of Meek Mill and a fantastic verse on Pusha T's "Nosetalgia."

"Lately, the question I get the most ... is, 'When did I know it was time to come back?'" Hall said. "There are a lot of reasons I came back, but one reason is because I heard a brother from Compton spit," he exclaimed with a lilt as someone in the audience hummed like he was speaking from a pulpit. "I heard a brother from Compton spit, and I said to myself then, 'Not only am I coming back, but I can't wait to say: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Kendrick Lamar.'"

With that pointedly personal introduction, Lamar launched into a sizzling version of his half-titular good kid, m.A.A.d city standout with a live band that molded the track into something fit for the first iteration of Lollapalooza. It's still unclear whether or not "m.A.A.d city" is the next single, but the track dovetails well with the aggression Lamar displayed on "Control," which Ice Cube told Hall was "the essence" of rap.

Either way, Arsenio was impressed, telling his guest, "That was beautiful ... brothers like you at the top where [you] belong." Never has a late night been host been more excited about musical performances that keep their shows in motion. (That said, David Letterman really does like those drums you've got there.) And Lamar wasn't done. He returned to talk to Hall about watching Dr. Dre and Tupac film "California Love" in Compton, and later performed "Collard Greens" alongside Schoolboy Q, whose new album Oxymoron is still slated for a fourth-quarter release.

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