Kendrick Lamar was not always packing out stadiums. In fact, there was a time where he struggled to draw a double-digit body count at his shows.
In a new interview with Bootleg Kev and DJ Hed for Real 92.3, ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick's long-time labelmate at TDE, recounted the time K.Dot played for a not-so-sold-out crowd back in 2011.
“Me and Kendrick did a show in Detroit in front of nine people," Q recalled. "Nine people showed up. I remember Dot did that, and Dre just was on it. Right after the show, n***a got on a jet after he performed in front of nine people. He went to go mess with Dre cause he was just about to sign to Dre.”
The story begins at the 22:58 marker.
The lesson here is twofold. One, everyone starts somewhere and not every show will be a success. You can't count yourself out because only nine people show up at your concert. Imagine if Kendrick Lamar were so easily discouraged? To be an artist is to develop a thicker skin.
Secondly, and this is the big one: how many people show up to your show doesn't matter when you're about to get on a jet and see Dr. Dre.