Just over a week ago, Anderson .Paak joined the growing list of artists releasing powerful and timely protest songs with “Lockdown,” his ode to the resilience of the Black American spirit. Tonight, he joined the group of artists who delivered these powerful statements during their performances on the 2020 BET Awards — a list that now includes Public Enemy (along with Black Thought, Nas, and Rapsody), D Smoke, and DaBaby.
.Paak’s performance found him in his customary position behind the backline, drumming with bloody-and-bruised makeup on his face to speak to the injuries being inflicted seemingly daily by police overstepping their authority — both in everyday life and against protestors who took to the streets to speak out against police brutality. During the performance, .Paak was joined by a new collaborator: TDE’s Jay Rock, who contributed a new verse to the already powerful protest song. Their performance also included a liquor store backdrop, silhouetted dancers and a final shot that suggest that the world is on fire and seemed to wonder, “What are you going to do about it?”
Watch Anderson .Paak’s fiery, blood-stained performance of “Lockdwn” with Jay Rock above.