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Kendrick Lamar opens 2018 Grammys with powerful performance featuring U2 and Dave Chappelle: Watch

on January 28, 2018, 7:54pm

Kendrick Lamar opened the 2018 Grammy Awards with a powerful performance during which he played a medley of four tracks.

He began by delivering “XXX.” with the help of U2’s Bono and The Edge, performing in front of a digital American flag and surrounded by men dressed in army camouflage. A message reading, “This is a satire by Kendrick Lamar,” then flashed on the video screen before Dave Chappelle interrupted the performance to warn that, “The only thing scarier than watching a Black man being honest in America, is being a Black man being honest in America.” The side bar also served as a quick set change before Lamar went into “DNA.”.

Kendrick then performed his verses for Rich the Kid’s “New Freezer” and Jay Rock’s “King’s Dead”. For the latter, he was surrounded by a bunch of red hooded backup dancers who were metaphorically shot down one by one. Rewatch the performance below.

Lamar’s powerhouse DAMN., one of our top albums of 2017, is nominated in seven different categories, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Immediately after the performance, he took home the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “LOYALTY.” During the pre-show telecast, “HUMBLE.” was awarded Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Music Video.

In May, Lamar embarks on The Championship Tour alongside Top Dog Entertainment luminaries SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul. He’s also curating the soundtrack to Marvel’s Black Panther, which includes collaborations with James Blake and SZA.

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