The biggest hip hop only festival in the Northwest announced a couple new additions to the already popular lineup; KUBE 93’s Summer Jam will now also feature performances from Kendrick Lamar and Kid Ink. These Southern California artists will join Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, B.o.B, Tyga and Kid Cudi at the Gorge on June 9th for an all day concert featuring some of the most popular names in hip-hop.Â (You can buy tickets to Summer Jam here.)
The additions of K Dot and Kid Ink add some depth to the otherwise fairly mainstream lineup. Although both these artists, particularly Kendrick Lamar, have recently experienced huge boosts in popularity, neither of them have broken Billboard’s Top 40 charts or received much radio airtime. However, the rising popularity of both Kendrick Lamar and Kid Ink and their additions to the Summer Jam lineup are evidence of the resurgence of Los Angeles hip-hop in the last few years. With the exception of Tyga and a few other artists, there have been few popular Los Angeles area artists since the death of Tupac. The Odd Future movement and the Black Hippy collective, which includes Kendrick Lamar, have recently brought the spotlight back to Southern California in the hip-hop community.
Kendrick Lamar’s presence on the Summer Jam lineup adds a dimension of critical legitimacy to the popular concert. Kendrick Lamar has had a wild increase in popularity since the release of his O(verly) D(edicated) mixtape in 2010. The Compton rapper has been accredited as an honest rapper and a critically acclaimed lyricist. Following the release of this critically acclaimed mixtape, â€œK Dotâ€ earned the attention of Dr Dre and Snoop Dog, ultimately signing to Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment label. Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 tape in 2011 solidified his position in the hip-hop scene and was wildly commercially successful despite a lack of radio play or mainstream exposure. Lamar was even selected for XXL Magazine’s 2011 Freshman Class feature. He has been featured on countless tracks in the last two years, a testament to the rap community’s respect for K Dot. Kendrick Lamar is notably part of the Black Hippy collective, which includes Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q, who have brought Compton back to relevance in the rap community. The rapper has suggested that he’s working on an independent album and possibly even a project with newly popular rapper J. Cole. Lamar headlined last weekend at the University of Washington’s Spring Show.
Kid Ink is probably the least well known of the rappers on the Summer Jam lineup. Kid Ink has recently gained some popularity after the release of ‘Stank in My Blunt‘ and his Meek Mill collaboration on ‘360‘. The producer-turned-rapper brings a distinctively pop sensibility to rap that is characteristic of LA hip-hop; his origins in production mean his tracks feature heavy production and a techno-pop influence. Kid Ink is also known for his full body tattoos which provide a unique look. Although Kid Ink produced beats for years, he has only recently gained notoriety as a rapper and was featured in XXL’s 2012 Freshman Class feature. Kid Ink is slated to release his album Up, Up & Away in June. The rapper will return to Seattle on June 28th for a concert at Neumos. (You can buy tickets here).