Global rap star Kendrick Lamar is set to bring his impeccable artistry to the African stage as a headline performer at the Hey Neighbour Festival in Pretoria in December.
Kendrick Lamar who was the biggest winner at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards, winning in four categories – hip hop artist of the year, best live performer, lyricist of the year and, with his creative partner Dave Free, video director of the year will be culminating a fantastic year at Africa’s largest music festival.
The 3-day event will see Lamar lead other global stars in setting off the fireworks of a world-class music experience for festival-goers. The festival in partnership with Heineken, organisers say, will bring to a climax the months-long celebration of the brewer’s global 150th anniversary in Africa.
Festival-goers will eagerly anticipate the thrill of witnessing Lamar’s venerated stagecraft. The multiple Grammy Award-winning rapper is revered for his knack for incorporating and pulling off enthralling acts and gimmicks during his performances.
Kendrick has always been expressive of his connection with Africa. He previously credited the success of his critically acclaimed third studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly, to the inspiration he gained on his first visit to the continent.
“I felt like I belonged in Africa,” Kendrick said of his visit to South Africa in 2014. “I saw all the things that I wasn’t taught. Probably one of the hardest things to do is put [together] a concept on how beautiful a place can be, and tell a person this while they’re still in the ghettos of Compton. I wanted to put that experience in the music.”
In 2022, shortly after the release of his long-awaited fifth studio album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Kendrick also spent time in Ghana, visiting townships and connecting with locals.
Marcel Swain, Head of Marketing: Premium, Heineken South Africa, says festival-goers can expect a lifetime experience at the event. “We’re excited to host music and beer lovers from several African countries, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, at the Hey Neighbour Festival. This ensures a diverse and enriching experience for all attendees, fostering connections and celebrating good times,” he said.
Considered by music critics as one of the greatest rappers of all time, Kendrick Lamar has sold over 35 million albums globally and won 17 Grammy Awards. The former TDE rapper is also the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize for music with his fourth studio album, DAMN.
The Hey Neighbour Music Festival to celebrate the good times and togetherness Heineken inspires among Africans will take place from 8th to 10th December 2023. Among other global stars expected to add to the thrill of the festival are Nigerian music star Rema, South African rapper Nasty C, and American singers The Chainsmokers, H.E.R., and Khalid.