There were rumblings in and out of the Staples Center that Kendrick Lamar — leading the field with 11 Grammy nominations — was going to blow the roof off the arena during his 2016 Grammys performance, and the rumors were correct. Introduced by Don Cheadle, the actor introduced Kendrick by saying, “Sometimes you have to play a long time to play like yourself.”
K Dot lit the audience on fire with a live performance of “The Blacker The Berry,” “Alright,” and a new song that interpolated “Hiiipower” that included him leading a chain gang of prisoners through a faux prison corridor complete with a saxophone player locked in a cage. The act then evolved into K Dot performing in front of a massive bonfire with African dancers strutting around him. Throughout the African and jazz influenced set, producers took liberties with fancy editing and directing, making this performance feel unique, special, and altogether exhilarating. To say that Kendrick’s set was a show-stealer would be an understatement, but watch it for yourself above.