Though debates have sparked about who would win the coveted “Album of the Year” honor at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, one thing that has been undeniable is the impact that Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly has made on music over the last year. While it was a controversial project – one that spoke directly about the Black experience in America – those who debate its unorthodox style can’t deny the amount of musicianship that has gone into the making of such a project. And with Lamar’s long history of bringing a high level of artistry to his live performances, it was no surprise that his highly anticipated set at this year’s GRAMMY awards would be nothing short of incredible.
T.D.E.’s shining star took the stage to perform a medley from his latest album, which included a special blend of “Alright,” “The Blacker The Berry,” and an unreleased track. Set to a jailhouse theme, Lamar donned chains as his band emulated being locked inside of jail cells while performing “The Blacker The Berry.” The MC then turns up the stirring performance with a fiery set for the never-before-heard track and “Alright,” with African dancers performing around a bonfire while Lamar utilized impressive camera work throughout. Lamar was nominated for a total of 11 awards and won five, including one for “Best Rap Album” and “Best Rap Performance” for his single “Alright.” Lamar was also up for two more awards during the televised ceremony, though lost to Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” in the “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” categories, respectively.
Watch the jaw-dropping performance below in the player now.
Photo Credit: XXL