Kendrick Lamar - Photo by Taleah Griffin

There was quite a bit of onstage crotch grabbing at the Gramercy Theater Saturday night, and it wasn’t coming from just the fellas. Social media guru Karen Civil and radio personality Angela Yee hosted a showcase that boasted great performances as well as a diverse group of hip-hoppers. Two of the acts that hit the stage were Dawn Richard (Dirty Money) and Jasmine Solano. It was refreshing to see some non-seedy ladies up there repping hip-hop and being so well received by the crowd.
Richard wore a beautiful long-sleeved black dress with two giant slits up the front, which forced her to maneuver with caution to guarantee she didn’t share too much of herself with the crowd. Maybe it was all that real hip-hop that gave Richard quite the potty mouth as she slayed a performance of Dirty Money’s “Ass On The Floor” and “Hello Good Morning.” Diddy would’ve been proud. Solano was on double duty as DJ but took a break from spinning to hit the stage and show off her talents as an MC. Lyrically gifted, she performed “That’s Not It,” which samples a piece of Salt-N-Pepa‘s “Whatta Man” on the chorus.
But it wasn’t just ladies’ night at Gramercy Theater; the fellas came out to play as well. Surprisingly punctual, headliner Kendrick Lamar took the audience on an intimate escapade recounting moments of his childhood throughout his performance. He referred to the crowd as “family” as he expressed his gratitude for supporting him thus far in his career. Midway through his show he brought out a stool to sit on, and for a moment I thought he was going to light a candle and ask us to snap our fingers, but instead he shared another one of his autobiographical stories. Thank goodness.
Lamar could really do no wrong; everyone there came to see him, so the crowd acted as hype man for every song he rapped, reciting each word along with him. In between favorites like “Spiteful Chant” and “Blow My High,” he called on the audience members to Tweet him which songs they wanted him to perform. Even though a noticeable response of “Michael Jordan” was being hollered out each time he asked, he unfortunately didn’t get around to that request. Still by the end of his show he had captivated the room so much you could feel the disappointment when he exited the stage.