As promised, Kendrick Lamar delivered a “provocative” performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
K. Dot entered the stage in chains as he approached the mic to start his performance with To Pimp a Butterfly‘s “The Blacker the Berry.” Behind him stood a line of men, also in chains as they lined up behind the rhymer on the set of a jailhouse.
“I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2016,” started Lamar as he began to remove the shackles. But anyone who knows the jarring song knew immediately that he was performing the clean version of the track. Lines like “my d— is big” were replaced by “you know it’s big.” Ha.
Afterwards he moved onto his other big hit, “Alright” which had already won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance at this year’s award show. As Assassin’s booming verse takes place, the stage lit up as Lamar and his back-up dancers had tribal paint marks on them that glowed in the dark. Although again notable lines were taken out like “when they kill us dead in the street fo’ sho.” But the performance was certainly lit — literally. Behind the rhymer stood a huge flame as he seemed to be engulfed by fire.
For the finale, Lamar broke out a new song for viewers. In a blue button-up akin to jailers and jeans, the 28-year-old showed off his knack for fast rhymes and clever lines in the yet-to-be released song. The camera work proved to be impressive as well as it made fast cuts to show Lamar at different places on screen. At the end, an image of the African continent filled the background with one word on it: Compton.
Check out Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance above and see if he wins any more awards this night here.