At the crack of dawn on Jan. 22, 2018, Top Dawg Entertainment dropped news of a full-label tour featuring Schoolboy Q, SZA, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and more out of nearly nowhere. Excitement for the Championship Tour, as TDE's calling it, has already spread like wildfire through social media even though it doesn't get rolling until May. Given the late spring start, Kendrick Lamar's 2018 US tour dates might sell out faster than usual if the artist gets a major Grammy boost.
The 2018 Grammy Awards ceremony is set to air on Jan. 28, and Lamar is up for a total of seven awards, including Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album for DAMN., Best Rap/Sung Performance for "LOYALTY." featuring Rihanna, and several awards for the single "HUMBLE.", including Record of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Music Video, and Best Rap Performance.
Lamar's up against serious competition in each category, facing off against Jay Z's 4:44 for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album alone. His stiffest competition is in Best Rap performance, where "HUMBLE." squares off against Migos' wildly popular (and catchy) "Bad And Boujee" and Cardi B's record-breaking anthem "Bodak Yellow". Even his single featuring Rihanna is competing against a Jay-Z/Beyoncé team-up. Still, Lamar's no slouch in the awards department, especially the Grammys.
Though he was nominated for Best New Artist in 2014, Lamar won his first Grammys in 2015, when his song "i" received both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. He outdid himself winning three awards in 2016, including Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly, Best Rap Song for "Alright", and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "These Walls", which featured Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat. Though the amazing and highly political music video for "Alright" didn't win Best Music Video, Lamar managed to come out on top anyway — the winning video, Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood", featured Lamar.
Many considered his live performance at the 2016 Grammys to be the ceremony's highlight, with various outlets calling it stunning, galvanizing, and Vox in particular declaring the performance incendiary, fearless and powerful. Lamar is slated to perform again this year, and will no doubt blow audiences away even if he doesn't take home a single statue.
Lamar is otherwise performing in Europe through March 5, with his first American reappearance outside the Championship Tour happening May 20 in Gulf Shores, AL for the Hangout Music Festival.
Tickets for the TDE: The Championship Tour went on sale Jan. 25 at noon through Ticketmaster. A full schedule of dates and locations is listed below.
TDE: The Championship Tour 2018
May 4 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
May 5 Seattle, WA White River Amphitheatre
May 6 Portland, OR Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
May 8 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
May 10 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
May 13 San Diego, CA Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
May 14 Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion
May 15 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
May 17 Dallas, TX Starplex Pavilion
May 18 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater
May 19 Houston, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman
May 22 Tampa, FL Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
May 23 West Palm Beach, FL Coral Sky Amphitheatre
May 25 Atlanta, GA Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
May 26 Raleigh, NC Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
May 27 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
May 29 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
May 30 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Jun 01 Bristow, VA (DC) Jiffy Lube Live
Jun 02 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
Jun 03 Buffalo, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Jun 05 Boston, MA Xfinity Center
Jun 07 Hartford, CT Xfinity Theatre
Jun 08 Philadelphia, PA BB&T Pavilion
Jun 09 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Jun 12 Toronto, ON Budweiser Stage
Jun 13 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jun 15 Chicago, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Jun 16 Pittsburgh, PA KeyBank Pavilion
Get your tickets fast, because Lamar's tour is a can't miss event.