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The Boston Globe

Music

Promoter Ned ‘Leedz’ Wellbery looks to grow local hip-hop scene

SOMERVILLE — Earlier this month, several thousand people watched from City Hall Plaza as Kendrick Lamar, one of hip-hop’s most compelling and popular voices of the moment, closed the second day of the Boston Calling Music Festival. Lamar has been headlining shows and linking up with the likes of Drake and now Kanye West for his upcoming fall tour. But two summers ago, when he played for a few hundred people at the Middle East Downstairs in Central Square, Lamar was just a hungry, talented young rapper building a buzz, one in whom larger venues weren’t ready to place their faith just yet.

He was exactly the kind of artist Ned “Leedz” Wellbery has been working with since launching his independent promotions company, Leedz Edutainment, in 2004.

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