After being teased as a “very controversial” performance by host LL Cool J, Kendrick Lamar hit the 2016 Grammy stage and did not disappoint. The rapper delivered the performance of the night, walking out as part of a chain gang to perform “The Blacker The Berry” with his band locked inside jail cells.
Lamar followed up the striking visuals 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 in one of the most striking performance to hit the Grammy stage in years. The songs, both off Lamar’s critically acclaimed sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly speak directly to the modern day black experience in America, and his performance delivered that message home better than anyone could’ve hoped for.
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.