Host LL Cool J teased that a “very controversial” performance by Kendrick Lamar would hit the 2016 Grammy stage. That prediction did not disappoint. The rapper delivered a legendary performance sure to be best of the night. He walking out as part of a chain gang to perform “The Blacker The Berry” with his band locked inside jail cells.
As Lamar performed with profound lyrics and striking visuals, he followed up by performing “Alright” in front of a giant bonfire, and transitioned into a never before heard song utilizing some fast action camera work, before ending the his performance with the word Compton over an image of Africa. This performance was the most striking, lyrically profound with a message that was brilliantly conveyed to hit the Grammy stage in years. He shut the Grammy stage completely down.
The songs, were both off of Lamar’s critically acclaimed sophomore album “To Pimp A Butterfly” which spoke directly to the modern day black experience in America, and his performance delivered that message home better than anyone could’ve hoped for. The lyrical story was empowering, conveyed with passion and had the audience on their feet as he confronted racial messages and themes.
To Pimp A Butterfly netted Lamar seven Grammy nominations this year (out of a total 11 nominations). Lamar took home four awards before the show began, and picked up another award for Best Rap Album at the beginning of the show. The project is up for Album of The Year, the last award of the night.