Heavy hitting record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) celebrated Christmas early at the Nickerson Gardens 6th annual Toy Drive & Giveaway. The complimentary two-day event congregated at the Nickerson Gardens’ Boys & Girls club located in the Watts district of Los Angeles.
Supporters of all ages lined up as early as 9:00 AM with the assurance of free entry, under the condition that each person in attendance bring at least one unwrapped toy to donate for local families. The lines upon entry extended blocks around the corner; all carrying toys in hand, queuing up to deposit their donation. Attendees brought sizeable actions figures, clothes, or cash donations placed in disposable hefty bags that were later gifted to families the next day.
A massive stage with the distinct TDE logo stood in the center of a grassy field, encircled by multiple family owned food trucks that were neatly parked along a fenced-off area; as well as, promotional booths concerning light medical training, flu shots, and a plethora of merchandise giveaways.
Grammy Award winning artist and Nickerson Gardens native Jay Rock hosted day one of the two-day event, in which kicked off around 4:00 PM. With 10,000+ in attendance, Los Angeles city councilmember Joe Buscaino introduced Jay Rock, and praised him for “never forgetting where he came from,” and acknowledged him for “doing right for the community.”
The main show commenced with Jay Rock introducing TDE artist, singer and songwriter Zacari whom opened the show with contemporary songs like “Don’t Trip” and his acclaimed Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Love.” Next on the card, Nickerson Gardens’ very own Ambjaay rocked the stage by jumping in and out of the crowd while he performed his summer smash “Uno.”
Soulful lyricists like Reason, Isaiah Rashad and SiR continued to boost the energy. Reason delivered traditional Hip-Hop tone, along with an aggressive dynamism to hype the crowd. Isaiah Rashad touched the heart of many by simmering alternative and soulful vibrations, which created a harmonic peace throughout the audience.
Inglewood native, SiR, showcased his alternate-universe by providing amazing stylistic shifts all the while rooted to the traditional R&B genre; accordingly, creating an intoxicating atmosphere of poetic love sounds for the crowd.
Ab-Soul blessed the stage with effortless exuberance, and wowed the audience with firecracker rap lyrics spilling over raw boom bap instrumentals. And provided a juxtapose spiritual introspective accompanied with baffling punch lines.
The first of several guest performances was rap artist Swae Lee, who performed smash hits like “No Type” and “Black Beatles.” Swae’s energetic nature was evident as he flared around the stage, submerging the microphone in a sea of fans to jointly perform. Tyga swiftly cycled in to rap popular anthems; such as, “Go Loko,” “Taste” and his latest single “Macarena.”
The prodigal Black Hippie representative, Schoolboy Q, arrived in the midst of the special guest appearances, and gave a standout performance of acclaimed single “Floating” off his latest album “Crash Talk.” Soon after, Compton native Roddy Ricch was introduced; fresh off his No. 1 debut album on the Billboard 200, whom performed hit singles “Ballin” and “The Box.”
Chris Brown concluded the special guest segment of the show by arranging steadfast dance moves while electrifying the crowd with chart-topping songs like “Heat” and “No Guidance.” Not to mention, Brown produced a standout dance sequence that showed athleticism and an everlasting style notably resembling Michael Jackson’s classic routine.
Finally, the day’s main attraction: a hooded, Kendrick Lamar inconspicuously walked on the stage, dressed in leather black boots, baggy denim jeans, and a casual blue hooded sweatshirt. K-Dot has relatively been quiet since his Grammy Award winning album “Damn.” In kind, the crowd erupted given this rare appearance by the current ‘God MC’ to perform the cult classic song “B—h Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Soon after, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar shared the stage to perform their celebrated collaborations; such as, “Rotation 112th” and “King’s Dead.” Jay Rock closed the show with the hit single “Win,” a bold statement of black excellence that hints at black power and militant ideals through victory.
December 19, 2019—day two consisted of the Toy Drive & Giveaway, hosted by TDE management and financial representative Big B. Local families lined up to receive brand new shoes, clothes, toys, and an assortment of TDE merchandise. The grassy field was transformed into a carnival styled play area equipped with video game truck, snow machine for sledding, free food, merchandise giveaways, and even free eye cares services for those who need examination. Families left the event with carts full of toys and some food for the week. It was successful two-day event, special thanks to the TDE family.