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Kendrick Lamar, Steve Aoki to perform at UConn's Spring Concert

On-the-rise rapper Lamar, Grammy-nominated DJ Aoki to rock Gampel

By Joe O'Leary
On February 12, 2013

After a week of big concert announcements at UConn, SUBOG saved the best for last late Monday night when they announced this year's Spring Concert will bring the Verge Campus Tour, featuring Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki, to Gampel Pavilion on Friday, April 19.

Kendrick Lamar blew up at the end of 2012. His single "Swimming Pools (Drank)" went platinum, topping out at No. 3 on the Billboard Rap Chart. In October, when his major label debut "Good Kid, m.A.A.d City" hit shelves, it sold around 242,000 copies in its first week, taking second on the Billboard 200 and eventually going Gold. It also gathered critical acclaim both locally and internationally. In November, Daily Campus campus correspondent Emily Herbst gave "Good Kid" a 9.5 out of 10, while the album has also charted high in numerous "Best of 2012" charts, for instance winning's Album of the Year honor.

Lamar's been on a tear in early 2013, too; he played "Saturday Night Live" on January 26, and he can currently be heard finishing up the last verse on A$AP Rocky's top-10 hit "F****n Problems" and performing on the bridge of "YOLO," the latest single from comedy trio The Lonely Island. His next "Good Kid" single "Poetic Justice," featuring Drake, is quickly climbing up the rap charts, currently at No. 9.

A member of South Central rap supergroup Black Hippy, which also features up-and-comers Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, Lamar is known for his personal and unorthodox approach to his music. Some evidence: "Good Kid" works on two levels, not just as an album but as a story (as its subtitle, "A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar," backs up). Throughout its twelve tracks, Lamar uses the album to tell the sweeping story of a young boy's coming of age in Compton. The album's protagonist falls in with the wrong crowd on "The Art of Peer Pressure," robs homes in "Money Trees" and sees a friend shot to death at the end of "Swimming Pools," which leads to the album's 11-minute epic "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst." In the two-part song, Lamar tries to find sense and God in modern life and society, searching for clarity in a culture of violence. His wit and delivery bring even more to the table, not to mention his variety: his repertoire spans from the swaggering confidence exuding through "Backseat Freestyle" to the sense of stylish, dark unease of "Cartoons and Cereal."

Steve Aoki, an electro house musician (better known as a DJ), will open things up for Kendrick, and his infectious blends will make more than a few Huskies go wild. Huge on college campuses, he's created some iconic remixes; his widest-known is probably his remix of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness," which soundtracked "Project X" (and by effect, more than a few UConn parties) last winter. His debut album, "Wonderland," came out in January 2012. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album, losing to Skrillex's "Bangarang EP" on Sunday night. What to expect from his set: he will play awesome house music as loud as the speakers will allow and 5,000 students will go insane in response.

The show, as mentioned above, will be at Gampel Pavilion on Friday, April 19; doors open at 7 p.m. with the music kicking off an hour later. Ticket information has not yet been released by SUBOG but will be provided as soon as it is made available.

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