Paid Dues Festival 2013: Watch Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Performances

Christina Lee | March 31, 2013 8:30 am

Last night (March 30) at San Bernardino, California, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis stood before the Paid Dues Independent Hip-Hop Festival crowd. They had just performed “Thrift Shop,” and Macklemore especially felt that he had to say thanks. “We put out that song, and it went No. 1 on Billboard and it’s an independent record,” he said, adding, “We didn’t sign shit. That shit went to No. 1 on the strength of the people.”

This year’s Paid Dues line-up was filled with independent hip-hop veterans: Immortal Technique, Killer Mike, Tech N9ne, Talib Kweli. However, while such veterans have created near-cult followings, rookies Macklemore and Kendrick Lamar served as proof as to how independent hip-hop artists can now attain mainstream success. Following his debut good kid, m.A.A.D. city, Lamar has recorded guest verses for 50 Cent (“We Up”) and Young Jeezy (his “R.I.P.” remix). And, off the strength of their March 2 Saturday Night Live performance, Macklemore’s debut album The Heist reclaimed its No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Lamar performed “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” as part of Los Angeles rap crew Black Hippy’s headlining set. Watch a snippet of his low-key performance up top, then check out Macklemore’s live rendition of “Thrift Shop” after the jump.