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A Recap of the Legendary ‘The Pop Out – Ken & Friends’ Event

Kendrick Lamar is known for going under the radar outside of when he’s dropping an album so it was a surprise to hip-hop fans when he announced he would be performing at The Pop Out – Ken & Friends.

Image Courtesy of Armen Keleshian

It was clear that Kendrick was going to use his newfound attention to host a mystifying event but it turned out to be even more of a roar than anticipated. We all knew he was going to perform “Not Like Us” but nobody expected him to do it five times in a row. Here’s a recap of the event.

The event was held in the newly opened Kia Forum in Inglewood, California on the occasion of Juneteenth. As the title “Ken & Friends” suggested Kendrick brought out a lot of artists to perform. All of them were from Southern California and most were from the greater Los Angeles area. The theme of the event was for the most part West Coast based which Kendrick himself mentioned a few times.

The set list was divided into three parts:


DJ Hed & Friends

DJ Hed is a DJ based out of Carson, California who has mostly helped artists with tours including Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar. He had a lively set bringing out mostly lesser-known artists from the greater Los Angeles Area.

  • Remble: Los Angeles based artist
  • Ray Vaughn: Signed to TDE, from Long Beach, California
  • Cuzzos: Female rap group from Los Angeles
  • Rucci + AzChike: Rappers based out of Inglewood
  • Meet the Whoops: Rap group from Los Angeles
  • Wallie The Sensei: Based out of Compton, California
  • Westside Boogie: Rapper from Compton, California.
  • Zoe Osama: Los Angeles based rapper
  • KalanFrFr + G Perico: Los Angeles based rapper
  • Bino Rideaux: Rapper from Los Angeles
  • BlueBucksClan: Rap duo hailing from Los Angeles
  • RJMrLA: Rapper from Los Angeles
  • OhGeesy: Rapper from Los Angeles
  • JasonMartin (formerly: Problem): Rapper from Compton, California.
  • Tommy the Clown: Rapper raised in Los Angeles

DJ Mustard & Friends

DJ Mustard is a famous producer and DJ from LA who has had a hand in producing a lot of popular music including “Not Like Us”.

  • 310babii: Rapper based out of Inglewood
  • Blxst: Artist from Los Angeles
  • Ty Dolla $ign: Singer from Los Angeles
  • Dom Kennedy: Rapper from Los Angeles
  • Steve Lacy: Singer from Compton, California
  • Tyler, the Creator: World famous rapper born and raised in Hawthorne, California
  • Roddy Ricch: Artist from Compton, California
  • YG: Rapper: Artist from Compton California

DJ Mustard’s set had most artists doing two songs each as he did bring out bigger names. Some highlights of the event were from Roddy Ricch performing “The Box, Steve Lacy doing “Bad Habit” and Tyler, the Creator performing “EARFQUAKE”.

Kendrick Lamar’s Set (Ken & Friends)

Kendrick had an absolute banger of a set, crafting a masterclass in anticipation. He knew what everyone wanted, and he built up to it masterfully.

He brought out the following artists:

  •  Jay Rock: Signed to TDE, born and raised in Los Angeles
  • Ab-Soul: Signed to TDE, from Los Angeles
  • ScHoolboy Q: Signed to TDE, based out of Los Angeles
  • Dr. Dre: Legendary rapper and producer from Compton, California

Here is the setlist

  • euphoria
  • DNA.
  • Alright
  • Swimming Pools
  • Money Trees with Jay Rock
  • WIN with Jay Rock
  • King’s Dead with Jay Rock
  • 6:16 in LA with Ab-Soul??
  • Collard Greens with ScHoolboy Q
  • THat Part with ScHoolboy Q
  • King Kunta
  • m.A.A.d city
  • Like That
  • Still D.R.E. with Dr. Dre
  • California Love with Dr. Dre
  • Not Like Us
  • Not Like Us
  • Not Like Us
  • Not Like Us
  • Not Like Us

Here are the most memorable moments from that set:

On his performance of “Euphoria”, Kendrick changes it up a bit from the studio version. He changes one line and adds another.

In the opening of the track, in the studio version Kendrick says:

The famous actor we once knew is lookin’ paranoid and now is spiralin

Studio Version

The first artist we once knew is lookin’ paranoid and now is spiralin’


In the second verse, he adds the following line to the performance:

Give me Tupac ring back and I might give you a lil’ respect

The Tupac ring being referred to is his famous crown ring that went to auction that Drake ended up buying. Kendrick wants that ring back after he feels Drake has been disrespecting the legendary artist by defaming him through AI in an attempt to provoke Kendrick.

Not Like Us

Kendrick performed “Not Like Us” five times and each time had some incredible magic to it. The first time Kendrick performed it, Dr. Dre introduced the track and went off stage.

He only performed the first verse, ending it at the renowned “A-Minor” line. The second time around, he did the same but this time let the crowd do the work for him.

The third time was the first time he did the entire track, and it was glorious, to say the least. Everyone was hyped beyond belief throughout the entire song, at a level The Pop Out: Ken & Friends had yet to see.

Then the 4th and 5th time, it was full-on madness. He brought out everyone from the event and even brought in Los Angeles-based NBA players. It was a euphoric experience to watch even on a screen.

If you thought this was overkill, Kendrick took no chances. Just like when he dropped “Not Like Us”, Kendrick went for the head making sure he wouldn’t miss. This time he doesn’t even care that Drake’s head is smashed, he’s continuing the brutality.

If you want to watch a full version of “Not Like Us” back to back to back to back, here are the first 9 minutes of it.

If you want to know more about Drake and Kendrick’s beef, check out Part 1: The Backstory, Part 2: Drake’s Push Ups, Part 3: Drake’s Tupac and Snoop AI diss track, Part 4: A Breakdown of Euphoria, Part 5: Breakdown of 6:16 in Los Angeles, Part 6: Drake and Kendrick Drop Their Diss Track Nukes, Part 7: Kendrick calls Drake a pedophile on “Not Like Us”, and Part 8: Drake Denies Pedo Allegations.

Thank you for reading!

An aspiring screenwriter based in California obsessed with the inner and outer workings of Film and TV. Vishu serves as an editorial writer for Film, Music and TV.