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Kendrick Lamar’s Grammys 2016 performance was a politically charged jazz thunderstorm

The Compton-native called out America's prison industrial complex and honoured Trayvon Martin

Justin Carissimo
New York
Tuesday 16 February 2016 03:51
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Kendrick's performance was literally on fire.
Kendrick's performance was literally on fire.

Rocking a blue prison jumpsuit, chains around his arms and feet, and a painted on bruised left eye, rapper Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards stole the show.

Nominated for 11 awards, the Compton rapper performed hits off his critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly album; jazz-infused versions of "The Blacker The Berry" and his accidental protest anthem “Alright.”

Host LL Cool previously said that the performance would be controversial and trending for weeks to come.

Kendrick also debuted a new song/freestyle where he referenced the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012:

“On February twenty sixth I lost my life too / It’s like I’m here in a dark dream / Man hear screams recorded / Say that it sounds distorted but they know who it was.”


The performance was such a show-stopper that Adele couldn't help but congratulate him following her performance: "I love you Kendrick, you're amazing!"

K-Dot walked away with five Grammys from his 11 nominations. Back in December, he told The New York Times that he wanted to win all of his nominations for hip-hop culture.

“I want all of them. Because it’s not only a statement for myself, but it’s a statement for the culture. They’re all important, because of the foundation the forefathers laid before me. Nas didn’t get a chance to be in that position. Pac. So to be acknowledged and to actually win, it’s for all of them.”

See the full performance above.

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