Thursday, December 1st marked the official start of Art Basel, Miami.
Kicking off the night was an exclusive concert hosted by Grammy award-winning recording artist Kendrick Lamar and British visual artist, Shantell Martin at the Faena Dome in South Beach. The 75-minute performance was hosted by American Express in an ongoing effort to bring a one- of- a-kind celebration of music and art to it’s audiences. During the special event, Kendrick Lamar and Shantell Martin combined their individual talents to create an immersive and engaging experience for 400 people in attendance. Tickets were sold online exclusively to Amex card members, providing them access to what was arguably the most coveted entertainment event in the Miami area this week.[slideshow]
The Compton based rapper got audience pumped when he performed hits such as “Swimming Pools,” “Collard Greens,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “i,” “m.A.A.d. City,” “untitled 07″, “Backseat Freestyle,” “King Kunta” and “Money Trees.” Adding to the ambiance of the night were archival black-and-white images/footage protected on the ceiling of the dome. These included money counting machines, George W. Bush, Snoop Dog and Looney Tunes amongst others. While Lamar rapped indoors, Shantell Martin live sketched a massive mural behind the dome of her signature freestyle black lines mapped to the beats and lyrics of his music.
Lamar intimately stopped the show several times to interact with audience members and autograph shirts, shoes and other memorabilia. It was very fitting that he ended the night with powerful “Alright”, a song about the affects of police brutality in this nation as he told the audience “we celebrate love tonight, not hate.”