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Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd headline Power 106 FM's Christmas show

October 29, 2012|By August Brown
  • Kendrick Lamar is on the bill of this year's Power 106 FM Cali Christmas show.
Kendrick Lamar is on the bill of this year's Power 106 FM Cali Christmas… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

This year's installment of Power 106 FM's annual Cali Christmas upends many of its recent traditions. The hip-hop and R&B round-table usually gets a few titans from its upper airplay ranks, some singles-toting newbies and an L.A. legend or two.

But this year's lineup is a study in contrasts and shows how quickly generation gaps can emerge in the young and fast-moving Power 106 audience. Rick Ross, the rotund and resilient Miami kingpin, tops the bill with guest-verse staples Meek Mill and 2 Chainz in tow.

But the most exciting acts include Compton's Kendrick Lamar, whose lauded major-label debut, "good kid, m.A.A.d. city," has absolutely dominated music-media coverage all week. Lamar has been on a live blitz lately, playing two release shows in the same night at Club Nokia and popping onstage during ScHoolboy Q's opening set with A$AP Rocky over the weekend.

More curious is the inclusion of Toronto R&B group the Weeknd, which until now has generally shunned  hip-hop and R&B showcases and festivals for more hipster-adjacent sets (like opening for Florence & the Machine at the Hollywood Bowl and playing Hollywood Forever Cemetery). Perhaps this signals a new interest for the band in wooing a mainstream audience, and a connection to previous Cali Christmas headliner Drake certainly won't hurt in that respect.  

Either way, a radio station showcase that in the past has been a victory lap for its main artists just became a lot more interesting.  


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