WEST LOOP — Hundreds of Kendrick Lamar fans got a welcome boost Thursday when the rapper showed up at a one-day pop-up shop he set up in the West Loop.
The store was opened to sell merchandise ahead of his concert at the United Center.
And his fans were ready.
A huge line of fans snaked for blocks outside the California-based rapper's shop at Notre, 118 N. Peoria, St., which features new merchandise advertising his new album "DAMN." It opens from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mac Chuchra traveled all the way from Iowa to Chicago in hopes he would see the rapper, camping out at the store starting at 4 a.m.
"He speaks to me so much as an artist. 'To Pimp a Butterfly' means a lot because I have suffered from mental illness and he talks about issues such as mental illness," Chuchra said. "He makes it more mainstream."
Akonixx Harmon, a musician himself, said he is inspired by Kendrick's ability to tell a story.
"It's not about your typical 'sex, drugs, money' story. [His music] goes back to the roots of rap," Harmon said.
Lamar announced the series of pop-up shops in cities across the country in a tweet July 10.
The artist is on tour to promote "DAMN," released April 14. The pop-up shop coincides with Lamar's Chicago concert Thursday at the United Center.
Chicagoans hoped Kendrick would stop by after he surprised fans at the Dallas pop-up which was scheduled the same day as his Dallas concert. And he didn't disappoint.
Kendrick Lamar appearing at the Dallas pop-up shop gives me too much hope for when the Chicago pop-up comes along.— Nick (@nickjabad) July 14, 2017
Kendrick Lamar also is scheduled to return to Chicago for another concert on Aug. 20.
Merchandise inside Kendrick Lamar's pop-up shop at Notre Thursday. [DNAinfo/Isra Rahman]