King of lyrics Kendrick Lamar has tested his ‘vertical limits’ with his first ever helicopter ride on a visit to Auckland’s island jewel - Waiheke Island.
The seven-time Grammy Award winner was in Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city and water lover’s paradise - to headline the first ever Auckland City Limits Music Festival, inspired by the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas.
Lamar dazzled the 25,000 strong Auckland crowd with his performance, just as the City of Sails did for the hip hop superstar when he visited one of city's most idyllic locations.
Island of Wine
Lamar began his Auckland adventure with a helicopter flight across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour to celebrity favourite Waiheke Island.
“What a way to see Auckland, I’ve been able to take my first ever helicopter ride and check out this stunning city from the sky,” said Lamar.
With more than 25 boutique wineries, Waiheke Island is a food and wine lover’s paradise – a 15-minute helicopter ride or 35-minute ferry from Auckland. While on the island Lamar enjoyed some of the island’s finest wine and cuisine at Cable Bay Vineyard.
“I wanna buy a house here, have a studio, make some music, it’s so peaceful here. I want to do everything here, get out on the water on a boat, enjoy the views … do the butterfly! Haha,” said Lamar.
Waiheke Island is often referred to as Auckland’s ‘jewel in the crown’. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 guide named the island one of the top 10 destinations in the world to visit, while Condé Nast Traveller included Waiheke Island in their 2015 ‘Best Islands in the World’ list.
Auckland City Limits
Auckland City Limits saw over 40 artists take the stage on Saturday, 19 March 2016 at Western Springs Stadium. The Stadium (sitting in a green oasis that includes the Auckland Zoo) offers a more relaxed concert vibe than the other venues in town and, from 11am - 11pm, the line-up included a range of impressive artists.
Lamar headlined the event alongside The National and Action Bronson, and joined by New Zealand acts The Phoenix Foundation, Che Fu and singer-songwriter Tami Neilson who is currently taking the country world by storm.
Artist of our generation
Kendrick Lamar’s rise to major recognition began in 2010 with his first retail release, Overly Dedicated.
In 2015, Lamar released his third studio album To Pimp a Butterfly, which debuted atop the charts in the U.S. and the UK. The album was preceded by the lead single i which earned two Grammy Awards at the 2015 ceremony; which Lamar then followed up with another five in the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Lamar is now known in the industry as not only the greatest rapper alive, but quite possibly the most creative person working in music today.
Last year Taylor Swift and Lamar's collaboration Bad Blood reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Swift recently filmed her music video for Out of the Woods in Auckland, New Zealand, naming moody Bethell’s Beach as ”the most beautiful beach” she has ever been to.
Auckland Fast Facts
Auckland is the only city in the world that is built on an active volcano field.
Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’, has more boats per head of population than any other city in the world.
Auckland is one of few places outside the tropics where rainforests exist. The Waitakere Ranges, which encompasses more than 16,000 hectares of native temperate rainforest, has 250km of walking and hiking tracks.
Manukau city in South Auckland has the world’s largest Polynesian population.