Kendrick Lamar, the most important rapper in the world right now, is finally coming back to Portland—or, at least, to within an easily driveable distance. And he's not coming alone.
Today, Top Dawg Entertainment, the label Lamar helped turn into an industry powerhouse, announced The Championship Tour, a month-and-a-half long victory lap headlined by the Compton superstar and damn near everyone else on the current TDE roster. Normally, you'd expect a tour that big to skip right over us. Not this time—it hits the
Sleep Country Amphitheater Northwest Clark County Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in nearby Ridgefield, Wash., on May 6.
Lamar hasn't played Portland proper since 2012, just before the release of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, the album that formally announced his arrival. (The closest he's gotten is the Tacoma Dome, aka the Washington Boobatorium, last year.) He's since risen to voice of a generation status on the strength of 2015's all-timer To Pimp a Butterfly and last year's Damn., which will likely have earned him a raft of new Grammys by the time the tour commences.
It's a big enough deal that Lamar is coming within 30 minutes of the Oregon border, but it's the rest of the lineup that makes this show truly special. It includes last year's breakout R&B star SZA, Lamar's fellow Black Hippy crewmates Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, and TDE's newest signee, L.A. singer SiR, who has a Portland connection—his first album, Seven Sundays, was released through Fresh Selects, the local label run by Portland tastemaker Kenny Fresh, in 2015. His TDE debut, November, dropped last week, and it's another winner for the imprint.
Tickets for The Championship Tour go on sale this Friday at noon.
And who knows—while he's in the area, maybe Lamar will cross the state line to get a bite of his favorite soul food cart?