Patrice J. Williams
January 28, 2018 5:40 pm

There’s something special about the Grammy Awards and being nominated for music’s top prize. Then there’s the joy of winning. Then there’s being invited to perform, and then there’s having the pleasure of opening the show. Kendrick Lamar has achieved all of the above.

Before the Grammys even aired, Kendrick had already nabbed statues for music video, rap performance, and rap song. There was no denying the power of “Humble” and the Academy certainly agreed.

K. Dot has a history of killer performances. There was his mashup with Imagine Dragons that made everyone stand at attention. And who could forget his 2016 Grammy performance of “Blacker the Berry/Alright” during which he donned a prison uniform and shackles?

So it should have been no surprise that Kendrick would leave us with another performance that was equally provoking.

The show opened with Kendrick’s performance that featured U2’s Bono and The Edge, backup dancers being shot down and resurrected, and an appearance by Dave Chappelle. Yes, comedian Dave Chappelle.

Kendrick’s performance of “XXX” included dancers dressed in camp, military-style gear and the American flag on the screen in the background. Bono and The Edge joined Kendrick, but it was the seemingly random Chappelle appearance that wasn’t so random.

Getty / Jeff Kravitz

The powerful performance included Chappelle briefly interrupting the performance to say: “Hi. I’m Dave Chapelle. And I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America. Sorry for the interruption. Please continue.”

Kendrick continues to show that he takes his performances and social commentary through music seriously.

The rest of the night’s performers include Bruno Mars with Cardi B, Kesha, SZA, and more. Let’s see if they can keep the fire performances going.

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