Kendrick Lamar Brings Out Dave Chappelle, U2 for Unbelievable GRAMMYs Opening Performance
By Alex Ungerman
Kendrick Lamar's GRAMMY performance can be summed up by his album title: DAMN.
The "HUMBLE." rapper showed why he stands alone at the top of hip-hop at Sunday night's GRAMMY Awards, putting on a medley performance of several songs including "New Freezer," King's Dead" and "DNA.," where a surprise appearance by U2 was just the beginning.
Titled, "This Is a Satire by Kendrick Lamar," the set included fiercely political commentary, including a chilling scene of more than a dozen backup dancers falling to the floor, one by one, while gunshot sounds rang out.
At two points, the music cut out, while Dave Chappelle hammered the message home to the audience.
"The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America," Chappelle said during his first brief monologue.
At the end, Kendrick was met with a standing ovation from his fellow artists and awards show attendees.
With seven nominations -- including Album of the Year -- Kendrick trailed only JAY-Z for nominations this year. Coming into the show, the 30-year-old rapper already boasted seven GRAMMY wins on 22 nods (not counting the seven new ones) since just 2014. Kendrick added three more wins to the list during the pre-show -- winning for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video for "HUMBLE." He won another, with Rihanna, Best Rap/Sung Performance, early in the show.