Kendrick Lamar brought the roof down at the Grammy Awards with a powerful performance invoking decades of musical and American history, shortly after dedicating his first trophy of the night to the rappers who came before him.
Dressed in a prison uniform, with a black eye, surrounded by flames and dancers in traditional African garb, Lamar condensed blues, jazz and hip-hop into one of the most political and explosive moments of the night.
Lamar did a medley of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” and concluded his set silhouetted against a lit-up display of the continent of Africa, with the word Compton written across it. The Compton native received a key to his hometown Saturday.
Needless to say, the performance set social media ablaze.
“kendrick was spitting FIRE i felt my soul ascend into heaven during his performance,” said one fan on Twitter after the performance.
“After Kendrick everyone should just go home,” said famous fan Debra Messing.
After Kendrick everyone should just go home.
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) February 16, 2016
— Ziwe (@Ziweeee) February 16, 2016
All ppl in press room, who have been working too hard to chat, erupted into applause after Kendrick. One yelled, "That was it!" #Grammys2016
— S/FJ (@sfj) February 16, 2016
Kendrick with amazing imagery pic.twitter.com/s9rt06kAaU
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 16, 2016