Hundreds gather at Kendrick Lamar pop-up in San Francisco ahead of concert

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Hundreds of fans gathered at a pop-up store in San Francisco Friday to get their hands on exclusive merchandise and for a chance to meet rapper Kendrick Lamar ahead of a concert. (KGO-TV)

A popular rapper who is performing in the Bay Area Friday is drawing a large crowd in San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood.

Hundreds of people stood in line all night for a chance to buy exclusive Kendrick Lamar merchandise at a pop-up store.

The typically quiet Chinatown alley looked like a campground overnight and by 7 a.m., the line stretched around the block. "I'm just out here supporting real hip hop," Sacramento teacher Ezekiel Valenga said.

Valenga arrived at 8:30 p.m. Thursday to score the first spot in line. "I see Kendrick Lamar as someone who is working in the community all the time, he's always giving back to people of color, of low income," he said.

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Many fans ABC7 News spoke to echoed their respect for Lamar and some said the rapper's lyrics inspire them to do better.

"He changes the way I see life," Modesto resident Jeremiah Soto said.

Jeremiah said he's going to Lamar's concert at Oracle Arena Friday night with his brother, Isaiah Soto.

Isaiah said Lamar's message is simple. "Love, love is everything," he said.

He's already wearing Lamar's image and hoping to buy some exclusive San Francisco swag.

"To have a piece that is unique to my city, unique to my favorite artist and unique to the message that I love is going to be something really special to me," Isaiah said.

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Of course dedicated fans are also hoping for a chance to meet their idol. "I'm hearing that he will show up," Valenga said.

Some have spent all night planning what to say. "I'd just say thank you," Jeremiah said.

"Thank you, thank you for doing all the things that you're doing, thank you for giving good music back and keeping real hip hop alive," Valenga said.

Lamar's concert is at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Friday night.

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