This Friday, University of Washington students will be lining up along Montlake Boulevard for something other than a basketball game, as the Hec Ed Pavilion plays host to UW's annual Spring Show. Headlining this year's concert is Terius "The-Dream" Nash, who's had a hand in writing hits for the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Justin Bieber, while simultaneously releasing a steady supply of 21st-century-style R&B crooners under his own name. Over the course of three albums, Nash has stuck to the same successful formula, mixing in playful pop songs, seductive ready-for-the-club jams, and the occasional confessional lament (the latter are usually about his first ex-wife), all over syrupy sweet synths. I recently saw opener Kendrick Lamar during the sweltering Coachella music festival, and although I knew nothing more than his status as the newest and youngest King of the West Coast Rap Game, his set still somehow surpassed my expectations. Rather than merely rehashing laissez-faire G-Funk (his public anointing has come from fellow festival performers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, after all), Lamar spits a neurotic flow, and in his own words: "You wonder how I could talk about money, hos, clothes, God, and history/All in the same sentence." On last year's Section.80, Lamar frequently gazes at the past to examine the ills of his generation; the album title itself refers to both the 1980s and Section 8 low-income housing, and appears on songs such as on "A.D.H.D.," an elegiac track about the infantilizing reliance on self-medication ("You know why we crack babies/Because we born in the '80s"). While Lamar's songs are seemingly faced backward in time, catch him live tonight, post-coronation as one of rap's biggest young talents, while he looks toward his future. With the Bar and Brothers from Another. Hec Edmundson Pavilion, 7 pm, $17 adv/$20 DOS, free for UW students with ID.


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