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TDE: The Championship Tour Preview

Angel Chavez

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Top Dawg Entertainment, better known as TDE, is a record label founded in 2004 by CEO Anthony Tiffith. The record label has curated some of today’s biggest rap, hip-hop, and R&B stars. On January 22nd, TDE announced its first ever joint tour, “The Championship Tour”, which will feature many TDE members that includes main headliners Kendrick Lamar and SZA, with supporting acts from ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, and Lance Skiiiwalker. The tour will kickoff on May 4th in Vancouver and will make its stop here in Phoenix on May 14th at the Ak-Chin Pavilion.

The artists of TDE have a very strong millennial following, and students at Hamilton have found some of their favorite artists through TDE. Peyton Shanks (10) has been listening to Kendrick Lamar since he released “Section.80” in 2011. He says “I admire Kendrick’s work so much because he brings authenticity into his albums and always has a special meaning. He is one of most creative rappers in the game right now and the way that he is going, he could end up as one of the greatest of all time.”

Kendrick Lamar is coming off an amazing year from his release of his sixth retail and fourth studio album “DAMN.”, which won Best Rap Album and was nominated for Best Album at this years Grammys and was the highest selling album of 2017. He also won a Pulitzer Prize Award for Music Prize earlier this year, making him the first rapper to win the award. This will be the second time Kendrick Lamar stops in Phoenix within the past year. He kicked off his DAMN. Tour at Gila River Arena in Glendale last July.

Tyra Hawthorne (11) has been listening to SZA since the release of her debut project “Z”. She says “I listen to SZA because she brings a new sound that we’ve never heard before into the industry. Her sound is raw and fresh and brings something new to the table.” SZA had her rise to fame in 2017 with her 2nd studio album “CTRL”, which was Time Magazine’s Album of the Year and was nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album at this years Grammys. This will also be the second time SZA has performed in Phoenix in the past year. She performed her CTRL Tour at the Marquee Theater in Tempe last September.

The upcoming tour is also a great chance to check out the supporting acts TDE has to offer. ScHoolboy Q has had some time off from making music considering his last project “Blank Face LP” was released in 2016. He has curated some of the industry’s biggest hits including “Studio”, “Collard Greens”, and “THat Part”. Jay Rock also hasn’t been in the music scene lately as his latest project “90059” was released in 2015. However, Jay Rock released a track earlier this year entitled “King’s Dead”, which is featured on the Black Panther Album, and has been a chart topping hit. Ab-Soul had his last project released in 2016, but as well has a feature on the Black Panther Album with Anderson .Paak and James Blake on the track called “Bloody Waters”. Ab-Soul’s main focus on his music is drug addiction, which is received well known on his projects. SiR has had his uprising to the music industry earlier this year with his 2nd project “November”. It’s the first time we’ve heard new music from him since 2015 when he released “Seven Sundays”. Lance Skiiiwalker has had time off from since his debut album “Introverted Intuition” was released in 2016.

Tickets for the tour went on sale on January 26th. The tour is sponsored by TicketMaster, which is the #1 used site for purchasing tickets for any event. At the Ak-Chin Pavilion, the lowest budget ticket currently is $35 for the lawn seats and the highest budget ticket is currently is $207 and above for seats closer to the stage. The concert here in Phoenix will begin at 7:30PM on May 14th, and since it is being held at a venue an hour away from Chandler, it is recommended to leave Chandler hours earlier to avoid rush hour traffic and chaos from parking. You can also carpool with friends or someone you know to get to the venue. Uber & Lyft are also another option if all else fails, but it’ll cost you an extra $45. Since it is being held on a school night, make sure your parent or guardian calls in your excused absence the next day to rest if you plan to miss it. The tour will conclude on June 16th in Pittsburgh. Make sure to grab your tickets soon to experience this once in a lifetime event!

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