On Monday morning, hip-hop fans and Los Angelenos alike were greeted with some extremely exciting news: Nearly TDE’s entire roster is going on tour together! Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab Soul, SiR, and Lance Skiiwalker are all gearing up to embark on what they’re calling The Championship Tour, set to begin in the first few days of May. Top Dawg Entertainment as been absolutely killing the game for at least the past couple of years now, and there’s really no better time than 2018 for all of their artists to go on tour together (beside Isaiah Rashad, who is noticeably missing from the announcement).
A tour like this is an event that has been suggested and sought over by TDE devotees for YEARS, so there are most definitely going to be some super tough critics going into these shows. With that being said, let’s map out the 5 most important things we’re hoping to see on the crew’s highly-anticipated The Championship Tour while we wait for this all to come to fruition in the next couple of months.
A Set By Black Hippy
There is a pretty good chance that literally everybody excited about TDE going on tour together is hoping that Black Hippy–which consists of Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Ab Soul–perform some of their songs together. The group comes together periodically to put a posse cut onto one another’s album, and it’s incredibly rare that fans ever get to actually see these songs tracks performed live. With huge hits like “Vice City,” “Rolling Stone,” and their remixes of “U.O.E.N.O” and “THat Part,” the collaborative all being at the same show and not performing at least one of their many beloved songs would be an absolute violation. Black Hippy has performed one or two of their tracks together at festivals or their annual Nickerson Gardens Christmas show in the past, so having them not join the stage while on a whole tour together.
An Appearance By Isaiah Rashad
The first thing a lot of people noticed when the tour poster dropped on Monday is the fact that Isaiah is the only one on TDE’s roster absent from the upcoming event. This has started speculation that he’s been dropped by TDE, but that’s unlikely–especially since they’re still listed as management in his bio, and he’s heavily promoting SiR’s album on social media. With that being said, it wouldn’t be impossible for Rashad to make some special appearances at a few of the stops on the 30-location tour. If only to perform some tracks like “Wats Wrong” with Kendrick or the “Shot You Down” remix with Jay Rock and Schoolboy, it would be a shame to not see Isaiah at any point in the tour.
Proper Solo Sets From EVERYONE
Looking the the poster as you would a normal festival lineup, it’s safe to assume that Kendrick topping off the graphic will come on stage last and have the longest set, while those at the bottom of the poster (SiR and Skiiwalker) will probably have somewhere around 20 minutes to do their thing. While it makes sense for the lesser known artists on the label to also have shorter sets, it’s going to be difficult to be tough to cut down these 7 artists sets into something that will satisfy devotees. K.Dot has unquestionably been on top of the world for all of 2017, but since his DAMN. Tour just wrapped, it would be disappointing for The Championship Tour to treat all of TDE’s other artists as openers for Lamar’s full set. Everyone on the roster can’t have a meaty set without the show being 5+ hours, so it’ll be interesting to see the production of these shows.
Playing Up The “Championship” Theme
One of the greatest collaboration tours the rap world has ever seen was the Drake Vs. Lil Wayne Tour in 2014, and that’s partly because of how dedicated both parts were to the theme of the tour. With a playful back and forth when one another took the stage and some dope graphics to match, it wasn’t just two artists doing their separate sets and leaving–it was an experience. The same approach should be taken with The Championship Tour, too. With a label that so many people see as a close-knit family, nothing would be more disappointing than everybody performing their respective sets and going on their way. For something as special as a TDE tour, artists need to take the stage together to do at least some of the many songs artists within the label have collaborated on. During their individual sets, it’d be great to see some smack talk about one another with some braggadocio about having the best set that night, especially in a “Championship” setting (even though they’re all obviously on the same team).
Some Exclusive Championship Tour Jerseys
It pretty much goes without saying that the tour will have some pretty dope merch to go along with this endeavor, because TDE honestly has a great track record with their merchandise game already. Here’s to hoping that the crew makes some jerseys that go along with the championship theme and we can all sport jerseys with our favorite TDE artist on our back. Whether or not the tour meets all these requirements listed above, it’ll be hard to mess up an experience this special–but fans are definitely going to need some commemorative merch to remember such a one-of-a-kind night.