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

58th Annual GRAMMY Predictions

The 58th Annual GRAMMY Award nominations have been announced and Kendrick Lamar leads the pack with 11 nominations, the most since Michael Jackson was nominated 12 times in 1984 (MJ won 8 that night). Hopefully, it's redemption night for Kendrick and his amazing album—To Pimp A Butterfly—wins big, but you never know with The GRAMMYs. Check out my predictions of some important categories and some notable snubs below.

(My predictions of who WILL win are in bold, My thoughts on who SHOULD win are italicized.)

Album of the Year

  • Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
  • To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  • Traveller – Chris Stapleton
  • 1989 – Taylor Swift
  • Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Record of the Year

  • "Really Love" – D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  • "Uptown Funk" – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  • "Thinking Out Loud" – Ed Sheeran
  • "Blank Space" – Taylor Swift
  • "Can't Feel My Face" – The Weeknd

Song of the Year

  • "Alright"- Kendrick Lamar
  • "Blank Space"- Taylor Swift
  • "Girl Crush"- Little Big Town
  • "See You Again"- Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
  • "Thinking Out Loud"- Ed Sheehan

Best R&B Performance

  • "If I Don't Have You" – Tamar Braxton
  • "Rise Up" – Andra Day
  • "Breathing Underwater" – Hiatus Kaiyote
  • "Planes" – Jeremih feat. J. Cole
  • "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)" – The Weeknd

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • "He Is" – Faith Evans
  • "Little Ghetto Boy" – Lalah Hathaway
  • "Let It Burn" – Jazmine Sullivan
  • "Shame" – Tyrese
  • "My Favorite Part of You" – Charlie Wilson

Best R&B Song

  • "Coffee"- Miguel
  • "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)"- The Weeknd
  • "Let It Burn"- Jazmine Sullivan
  • "Really Love"- D'Angelo & The Vanguard
  • "Shame"- Tyrese

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  • Ego Death – The Internet
  • You Should Be Here – Kehlani
  • Blood – Lianne La Havas
  • Wildheart – Miguel
  • Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Best R&B Album

  • Coming Home – Leon Bridges
  • Black Messiah – D'Angelo and The Vanguard
  • Cheers to the Fall – Andra Day
  • Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
  • Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Best Rap Performance

  • "Apparently" – J. Cole
  • "Back to Back" – Drake
  • "Trap Queen" – Fetty Wap
  • "Alright" – Kendrick Lamar
  • "Truffle Butter" – Nicki Minaj featuring Drake & Lil Wayne
  • "All Day" – Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • "One Man Can Change The World" – Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend
  • "Glory" – Common & John Legend
  • "Classic Man" – Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur
  • "These Walls" – Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat
  • "Only" – Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

Best Rap Song

  • "All Day"- Kanye West
  • "Alright"- Kendrick Lamar
  • "Energy"- Drake
  • "Glory"- Common & John Legend
  • "Trap Queen"- Fetty Wap

Best Rap Album

  • 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
  • Compton – Dr. Dre
  • If You're Reading This It's Too Late – Drake
  • To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  • The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Best Music Video

  • "LSD" – ASAP Rocky
  • "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" – The Dead Weather
  • "Alright" – Kendrick Lamar
  • "Bad Blood" – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
  • "Freedom" – Pharrell Williams

SNUBS:

Best New Artist:
Fetty Wap

Song Of The Year:
"Hotline Bling"- Drake (apparently the submission form never got to Cash Money)

Best Rap Album:
Tetsuo & Youth- Lupe Fiasco
Dark Sky Paradise- Big Sean
RTJ2- Run The Jewels
Wale- The Album About Nothing

The GRAMMYs will air on CBS at 8/7c on February 15, 2016. Head here for the full list of nominees.

-AO