Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals took the Coachella stage at the second weekend of the storied fest as the sun descended, but the musician’s fiery set was more than enough to light up the audience.
The performance, which featured pyrotechnics including fireworks and flames alongside the rapper’s slinky stage moves, was relatively heavy on material from his recently released “Ventura,” which provided one of the main highlights — legendary R&B vocalist Brandy’s Coachella debut.
Brandy appears on the track “Jet Black” off “Ventura,” and the audience went wild as ,Paak welcomed her to the stage, happily obliging the pair’s requests to get their hands up. The singer was in top form, sporting long braids and letting her melodic voice do the work.
Clad in the second of two eye-catching outfits, .Paak performed his Grammy-winning track, “Bubblin,’” referring to it in his intro as the song that won him his Grammy. When he finished, he explained that he wasn’t the only one who had won a Grammy, and as Kendrick Lamar’s vocals instructing listeners to “miss me with that bulls—” at the beginning of “King’s Dead” kicked in, Jay Rock, sporting a red Givenchy t-shirt, appeared to the mounting excitement of the crowd.
The pair broke into the “Black Panther” track, which also won the Grammy for best rap performance alongside “Bubblin’.”
.Paak also shouted out recently slain rapper Nipsey Hussle twice during his set, asking the crowd to yell, “We love Nipsey” toward the beginning, which they called back with enthusiasm.
He paid tribute to Mac Miller, as he did the weekend previous, closing out the set with a cover of Miller’s “Dang!,” which features the lyrics “I just can’t keep losing you.” As the music faded and .Paak bowed goodnight, an image of the two rappers appeared on the large screen behind the band.
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