US rapper Kendrick Lamar gave an emotionally charged performance at the Monday night Grammy Awards 2016. His performance has been described as the only performance at the Grammys 2016 that mattered.
Kendrick Lamar like the other artists that performed at the Grammy Awards 2016, he was there to entertain the audience. However, Lamar’s performance had politically charged undertones in his performance that highlighted the racial inequality, high prison incarceration rates among African American community and the African identity among them.
Lamar walked onto the stage in chains in a fashion reminiscent of the slave trade, with some of his band behind ‘bars’ depicting the high incarceration rate of Black men. He started off by performing “The Blacker The Berry” with the rest of his band performing ‘behind bars’. Next he followed up with an incredible visual performance of his song “Alright” in front of a giant bonfire with his dancers dressed in African traditional dressing.
The two songs are from his recent album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. If you listen keenly to his lyric near the end of his performance, he introduced a new verse alluding to the death of Trayvon Martin; the 17-year-old African American teen that was fatally shot by George Zimmerman back in 2012.
The new verse goes, “On February 26th, I lost my life, too.” Right before he wraps up his performance with an image outlining the map of Africa with the words ‘COMPTON’ written across it. If you did not watch Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the Grammy Awards 2016, below is a video showing his performance courtesy of CBS.
Lamar’s performance at the Grammy Awards 2016 was more like a summary of United States’ dark history.
Earlier on, Beyoncé’s performance had dancers dressed up in Black Panthers outfits. That too was a politically charged performance that certainly had some people sitting uncomfortably in their seats.