Kendrick played the Grammys with U2, Dave Chappelle & a new song (watch)
Kendrick Lamar opened the 2018 Grammy Awards Ceremony at NYC’s Madison Square Garden with a very intense, powerful performance. He opened with “XXX.,” backed by a big American Flag on the screen behind him and dozens of military-themed dancers. At the halfway point of the song, the lights dimmed and the screen read “THIS IS A SATIRE BY KENDRICK LAMAR,” followed by Bono and The Edge of U2 coming out for their part on the song’s hook. Then back to Kendrick rapping his ass off and the military dancers backing him.
Kendrick then did part of “DNA.,” which ended with a gunshot. Then the lights went out and Dave Chappelle showed up to say “I just wanna remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America… is being an honest black man in America. Sorry for the interruption.” And then it was back to Kendrick, this time with a dancer/taiko drummer, and this time rapping his verses from Jay Rock’s new song “King’s Dead” and Rich the Kid’s “New Freezer.” The music cut again and Chappelle asked, “Is this okay, CBS?” And then back to Kendrick one last time, this time for a new song with dancers in red hoodies that fell to the ground one by one as gunshots rang out (not the first time Kendrick has debuted a new song in a televised performance).
Like the last time Kendrick performed at the Grammys, it was truly awesome, and very above-average for a televised musical performance. Watch below.
After the performance, Kendrick won the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “LOYALTY.” ft. Rihanna, and the two of them accepted it on stage together. Rihanna also later performed with DJ Khaled.
Before the awards ceremony began, Kendrick won awards for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Music Video.
UPDATE: Kendrick won Best Rap Album. He yelled “Jay for president!” in his acceptance speech, and Dave Chappelle shouted out A Tribe Called Quest (who were notably snubbed) during his speech introducing the award. Watch both speeches HERE.
Kendrick lost Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year to Bruno Mars (meh).
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