Kendrick Lamar’s Grammys performance sparks nationwide race discussion

Adrian Leuthauser

Rapper Kendrick Lamar preformed better than expected at the Grammys, grabbing the audience’s attention within just a few minutes.

With his songs “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright,” which have been called anthems of the B#lackLivesMatter movement, his performance captured people’s minds and thoughts in six minutes.

Lamar came out on stage leading a line of dancers with their wrists and legs chained to one another. He wrapped his hands around the microphone, as a way to show his own hands being bound, before starting.

Within seconds he broke free of the chains, his voice attacking the microphone and his lyrics flowing smoothly.

His first few lines were some of the most striking of his performance: “I’m African-American, I’m African, I’m black as the moon.” Immediately he set the pace for his performance as one full of passion and hard-hitting beats.

He rapped and danced to an African-style dance, showing the roots of his culture, in front of a blazing bonfire. 

Near the end of his performance, his pace picked up and he stood on stage alone with the microphone. With each staccato lyric he rapped, flashes of light illuminated his face, giving the lyrics even more power.

As he finished the stage went dark, only an image of Africa with “Compton” written on it visible.

Lamar’s performance was full of politically relevant messages (including one to the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin), was representative of society’s struggle with race. No wonder it has sparked so much discussion across the nation.

Adrian Leuthauser is a CAED reporter for The Kent Stater. For more information contact him at [email protected].