Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself...

So, I took a long break from Hope For Hip-Hop, long enough that I feel the need to address my followers before jumping back into the swing of things. Between going to school for a MS degree, work, podcasting, and everything else, it became impossible to keep up. But I'm back and so is the blog. During my two month absence, we received projects from Beyoncé, Chance The Rapper, James Blake, JMSN, Vic Mensa, Drake, and we lost a legend: Prince. 2016 has been a very busy year for music. Before returning to business as usual, I want to share with you Gallant's performance of "Weight In Gold" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon because it's pretty phenomenal. Also, this track that didn't make Chance The Rapper's latest project. Let's get it.

-AO

Rihanna Performs "Consideration" and "Work (feat. Drake)" at The BRIT Awards 2016

Rihanna is enjoying a lot of success from her eighth studio album, Anti. She took the stage at The BRIT Awards 2016 to perform the opening track, "Consideration" and also the hit single, "Work." Drake joined her on the stage for the latter and they picked up right where they left off from the music videos. Check out the performance above.

-AO

Kendrick Lamar Delivers An Amazing GRAMMY Performance

The night was set up to be an amazing one for Kendrick Lamar. After losing Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best New Artist to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis just two years prior, it seemed the Recording Academy was out to set things right. Kendrick was nominated for 11 awards at this year's GRAMMY awards, the second most nominations for an artist in one night since Michael Jackson. Kendrick ended up winning 5 GRAMMYs, sweeping the rap categories and winning a GRAMMY for Best Music Video via Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video. But, that wasn't the most impressive thing Kendrick did last night.

The internet was buzzing, wondering what Kendrick would do for his GRAMMY performance and he did not disappoint. He came out in chains, dressed in prison clothes, followed in a straight line by other prisoners. His band was surrounded by prison bars. The silence that ensued while he awkwardly wrapped his chains around the mic stand so he could hold the mic gave us just enough time to realize this would not be your average performance.

He began to perform "The Blacker The Berry," a song that aggressively addresses the white community but also delivers a strong message to the black community. He transitions into a fiery performance of "Alright" and then performs "Untitled 3." Kendrick has become a fantastic live performer, one that seems to save some of his most dynamic, in-your-face songs strictly for live performances; more specifically, live performances in front of a white audience.

This performance was full of tribal African imagery, African traditional dancing, and was the most powerful Kendrick performance I've ever seen. There was bravery in this performance, standing in front of a predominantly white organization and audience and using his platform to deliver this politically charged, heart-filled, black message. Between this performance and Beyoncé's "Formation" release and performance, it's clear the black community is not about to take society's treatment lying down.

All hail, King Kendrick.

-AO

Kendrick Lamar (Austin City Limits Performances)

Kendrick Lamar has been delivering a slew of great performances lately and his Austin City Limits performances have been no different. Kendrick performed a few deep cuts from To Pimp A Butterfly like "Wesley's Theory" and "Hood Politics," which you can see above, as well as other favorites. If you want to see Kendrick's full set, program your DVRs because it will be airing on WYCC at 1AM CST on 1/10 and 8PM CST on 1/15. It will also be airing on WTTW at 11PM CST on 1/10.

-AO

Kendrick Lamar Performs New Song On 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

Kendrick Lamar appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performed a new song called "Untitled 2." He performed an amazing song called "Untitled" when he performed as the last musical artist on The Colbert Report last year. This song and performance definitely lives up to its predecessor. Kendrick is solidifying himself as one of the best hip-hop performers in the game and I'm glad to be witnessing it. Check out the dope performance above.

-AO

Chance The Rapper (SNL Performances)

Chance The Rapper became the first independent artist to perform on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and he absolutely killed it. He started off the performances with "Somewhere In Paradise" and Jeremih joined him on stage. His final performance was his most impressive. He performed a slowed-down version of "Sunday Candy" and it was brilliant. The arrangement was fantastic and the backup from The Social Experiment took it to another level. Chance is such a genuine artist and it shines through on stage. Check out the performances above.

-AO

The Internet & Lianne La Havas (NPR Tiny Desk Concerts)

NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert" series is pretty amazing. They take artists and place them in a small room where they perform a short set for an intimate crowd. It always allows us to appreciate artists that can deliver amazing live performances. In the latest installments, both The Internet and Lianne La Havas perform three songs and they sound great. Check them out above.

-AO

Solange Knowles, Dev Hynes, Moses Sumney & KING Cover "Young, Gifted and Black"

Shout out to creative minds collaborating to produce dope music; I appreciate that so much. Solange Knowles brought Dev Hynes, Moses Sumney & KING on stage during her set at the FyF Fest to perform a cover of Nina Simone's "Young, Gifted and Black." Above is a video of their rehearsal for this performance and they knocked it out of the park. They all have beautiful voices and they harmonize amazingly with each other. Check out the dope video above.

-AO

Lauryn Hill Covers Nina Simone's "Feeling Good"

Lauryn Hill appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform her cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." You may recognize the song as the song Kanye and Jay Z sampled in their Watch The Throne track, "New Day." Check out Lauryn Hill's amazing performance above.

-AO