Kendrick Lamar Delivers Politically Charged Performance at Grammys

Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards.

His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark outfits.

Lamar moved across the stage to head to a giant bonfire as he transitioned into his hit “Alright,” performing along with African dancers. Near the end of the set, a picture of a map of Africa appeared behind Lamar, with “Compton,” his hometown, written on it.

The performance drew a strong response from both social media and the live crowd, garnering a standing ovation in the Nokia Theatre.

“I’m African-American, I’m African,” Lamar rapped on stage. “I’m black as the moon, heritage of a small village/Pardon my residence/Came from the bottom of mankind/My hair is nappy, my d–k is big, my nose is round and wide/You hate me don’t you?”

The rapper came out on top when nominations were announced, scoring 11 nods including album of the year for “To Pimp a Butterfly.” He’s considered one of the top contenders in the category, along with Taylor Swift with her “1989.”

Lamar has already won best rap album for “Butterfly,” his fifth award of the night. In the pre-telecast ceremony, he won rap performance, rap song, rap/sung collaboration and music video.

The Best Moments from the 58th Grammy Awards

More Music

  • Kenny ChesneyNBC 'Today Show' Toyota Concert

    Kenny Chesney Signs With Warner Nashville

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • Russian Basketball Movie ‘Three Seconds’ Crowned

    International Newswire: Russian Basketball Movie ‘Three Seconds’ Crowned Box-Office Champ

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • Justin Timberlake Slammed for Holding Listening

    Justin Timberlake Slammed for Holding Listening Party at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • 2016 Billboard Music Awards Winners List

    Billboard Music Awards to Air Live Coast-to-Coast on NBC

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • Prince Dead Obit

    Prince Tribute Concert, Featuring Unreleased Material, Set for April 21

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • Pete Ganbarg

    Atlantic Records Names Pete Ganbarg President of A&R

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

  • Jack White

    Jack White Announces 2018 Tour Dates

    Kendrick Lamar gave a passionate, politically charged performance at Monday night’s Grammy Awards. His performance of his “The Blacker the Berry” started with Lamar and several black back-up dancers in chains, with the backdrop of a prison. As Lamar progressed in the song, he and the dancers released their chains and danced, donned in glow-in-the-dark […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content