There’s a hard truth hip-hop fans have been forced to accept: there’s a drought going on, and the missing ingredient is Kendrick Lamar music. As such, his millions of followers have been basically left scrounging for any sign of life, a search that has been largely fruitless since the release of DAMN and the Black Panther OST.

Kendrick Lamar

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And yet there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with rumors of a new Kendrick album steadily gaining momentum. Until that manifests, however, TDE has opted to share a few morsels to tide us over. Today, that comes by way of a nostalgic throwback clip, one that highlights Lamar in one of his many natural elements — the stage. The performance in question stems from the good kid, m.A.A.d city era, where Kendrick took the stage on Saturday Night Live and proceeded to make one hell of an impression. 

Backed by a locked-in live band who absolutely nails the “Swimming Pools” beat, imbuing it with the boosted energy often granted by live instrumentation, Kendrick delivers a strong and committed performance of one of his early breakout singles. Sadly, it’s beginning to feel like an eternity has passed since live music has been a viable option — at this rate, perhaps Kendrick Lamar’s new album will coincide with the post-vaccine return to normalcy. In the meantime, all we can do is revisit the classics.