Lesson learned: If you name a salad after Kendrick Lamar, it’s a good idea to learn the rapper’s lyrics in case you end up onstage with him. During his Sunday headlining spot at Sweetlife Festival, an inspired Lamar invited a random fan – which turned out to be festival co-founder (and CEO of salad company Sweetgreen) Jonathan Neman – onstage to help rap “m.A.A.d city,” Pitchfork reports. The caveat was that the lucky individual had to know “every single motherfuckin’ word” of the track, and Neman didn’t pass the audition. Around the 3:40 mark of the above clip, he flubs background vocals on the first four bars; Lamar cuts off his band and has the salad exec escorted off the stage by security.
Lamar introduces Neman as “Jonathan” and appears to not know Neman named a salad, “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe,” after the rapper’s hit “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” After booting Neman offstage by saying “Nah, nah, nah, nah” and requesting his band to play some “Apollo music,” he surveys the crowd for a replacement to redeem the flub. “For some reason, every time I bring up a young lady up here, they always outdo the men who come up here,” he says, recruiting a woman named Ayanna.
Lamar instructs Ayanna on mic placement technique and says he plans to “follow” her lead. But his advice was unnecessary – she destroys every second of the track with her manic energy and spot-on lyrics. “She killed that shit!,” Lamar screams after the performance. “She not only represented what I do, and I truly appreciate that, but she represented every one of y’all out here tonight.”
Lamar released his third studio album, the acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly, in March.