It’s no secret that most people came to Juice Jam to see Compton’s own, Kendrick Lamar. And as the weather got colder and everyone’s buzz wore off, everyone was expecting the day’s music festival to close with a bang or at least a thud.

Luckily, he delivered. Lamar gave the rowdy crowd of college kids the show they wanted and judging by crowd reaction, it was the one they deserved.

He started off with a string of danceable songs from his platinum debut album Good Kid m.A.A.d City and the crowd couldn’t help but go crazy to songs like “Backseat Freestyle,” “m.A.A.d City” and “Swimming Pools” (Ha, us college kids really acted like we’re about that life). Then he really got us excited when he did a couple of his featured tracks like “F**kin’ Problems” and “R.I.P.”  All the while, he gave us an a cappella verse here and there and often let the crowd sing the lines they undoubtedly knew.

But a couple of songs in, he asked how many of us had been fans of his music since day one. The majority of the crowd cheers in response. Lies! Because when Lamar preformed “A.D.H.D.” and “High Power” from Section.80, his mixtape, hardly anyone knew the words. That’s why it wasn’t too surprising when he went back to hits like “Poetic Justice” after that.

But more importantly, the crowd was still jamming the whole time. This is why I had few complaints about Lamar’s set list; let’s be honest, most of us just wanted to dance to his popular songs anyway.

However, Lamar closed the show with a pretty sweet freestyle that most of the crowd didn’t even react to. Remember, this is the same Kendrick Lamar that released “Control” a couple of weeks ago, calling out just about everyone and their mama, and proclaiming that he was the king of New York and the west coast. In that respect, I wish that he would’ve went even harder in his freestyle and that he would’ve put it right in the middle of his set – just to wake anyone up who might’ve forgotten that the almighty K-Dot was here. In the same breath, he could’ve slipped in “Rigamortus” to show off his rhythmic talent and how cold he is in general, but I digress.

All in all, Lamar gave us what we came for: a playlist of our favorite hits. No, he wasn’t super energetic and yes, he could’ve gone a bit harder, but in the end, no vibes were killed.

Photo by Amanda Al-Sayah