If you missed last night’s Grammy Awards, you surely missed the performance put on by Kendrick Lamar. In an interview before the Grammys, LL Cool J called Kendrick’s performance “controversial” and it wasn’t short of that.
After an introduction by Don Cheadle, Kendrick begins his performance walking out in a chain gang while the stage is set up to appear to be a jail. He starts his performance with “The Blacker the Berry,” off of his 2015 release To Pimp a Butterfly. After removing his handcuffs, Kendrick heads to a separate part of the stage where a more tribal setting is taking place. Here he transitions to another track off of To Pimp a Butterfly, “Alright.”
Filled with high amounts of energy, he performs more of the song before walking to another part of the stage. Here an isolated Kendrick stands with a microphone and nothing more. Quick camera cuts and the addition of strobe lights add to the intensity that filled his performance. Definitely different and definitely one of the better Grammy performances I’ve seen in years.
A small easter egg to note: If you listen closely enough, in the beginning of the video, you can hear someone whisper something along the lines of “this is so racist.” Though controversial, I don’t quite see this performance as being racist.