Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kendrick Lamar's Grammy 2016 Performance (Songs: "Blacker The Berry" & "Alright")

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post quotes an article about Kendrick Lamar's Grammy 2016 performance and features three partial videos of that performance. Selected comments from one of those video's discussion threads are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Kendrick Lamar for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who were featured in that performance and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. In addition, thanks to the YouTube publishers of these examples that are featured in this post.

Click for Part I of a two part pancocojams series on Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" track.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II showcases two videos of Black protestors chanting a form of the chorus of Kendrick Lamar's Hip Hop track "Alright".

Kendrick Lamar Performs 'The Blacker The Berry' In Chains & Lights Up Stage with 'Alright' at the 2016 Grammys by Adelle Platon, 2/15/2016
"After grabbing up five of his 11 Grammy nominations on Monday night (Feb. 15), Kendrick Lamar delivered rousing renditions of "The Blacker The Berry" and "Alright" off his Grammy-nominated sophomore studio effort To Pimp a Butterfly.

Following an intro from actor Don Cheadle, the Compton rapper marched out onstage in chains with a backdrop imitating a prison for "The Blacker The Berry" before creating a bonfire for "Alright" and wrapping his set with an illuminated image of his native city Compton in the outline of Africa.

In the untitled freestyle finale, Lamar references Feb. 26, the date of Trayvon Martin's death in 2012. "On February twenty sixth I lost my life too / It’s like I’m here in a dark dream / Man hear screams recorded / Say that it sounds distorted but they know who it was," he rapped.

Prior to showtime, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich teased the performance following LL Cool J dubbing the set "controversial."

"Controversial... I’m not sure that’s the right word. Certainly it’s provocative," he said. "...It is overtly political and it is overtly provocative, and I think if nothing else it’s going to give people something to think about and talk about."

The recent Billboard cover star said that his goal was to take home every trophy he was nominated for. "I want to win them all," the Compton rapper said. "It’s bigger than me. When we think about the Grammys, only Lauryn Hill and Outkast have won album of the year. This would be big for hip-hop culture at large."...

These videos are given in no particular order. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find any video of Kendrick Lamar's complete Grammy 2016 performance.

WARNING: The complete lyrics of these Hip Hop songs (but not the lyrics sung in these clips) include profanity and what is now commonly referred to as "the n word".

Example #1: Kendrick Lamar’s Grammys Performance Was Iconic

wochit Entertainment, Published on Feb 16, 2016

when Kendrick Lamar walked out in a chain gang and stopped everything else with this performance: Lamar began with “I’m black as the moon, heritage of a small village/ Pardon my residence/ Came from the bottom of mankind/ My hair is nappy, my nose is round and wide/ You hate me don’t you?" He performed “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright”, which became an unofficial Black Lives Matter anthem for activists during protests along with an unreleased track refered to as untitlted 3. Lamar missed out on winning Record of The year which he said would have made hugh strides for hiphop but he did walk away with 5 grammys.

Example #2: Kendrick Lamar Debuts New Song in Controversial Grammy Performance

wochit Entertainment, Published on Feb 15, 2016

Kendrick Lamar brought a politically charged edge to the 2016 Grammy Awards, performing a medley of three tracks, including two from his acclaimed 2015 LP, To Pimp a Butterfly. The rapper is the event's most nominated artist with 11 total nominations. He delivered "The Blacker the Berry" as a prisoner who breaks through his chains, then "Alright" backed by a group of African drummers and dancers. He finished by debuting an explosive new song that ended with cathartic screaming. Earlier in the evening, Lamar won Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Here are selected comments from this video's discussion thread.
I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only. These comments are given in relative chronological order with the oldest dated (hour) comment given first. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. All of these comments were published on February 15th or February 16, 2016.

Most of these comments take issue with Kendrick Lamar's 2016 Grammy performance being described as "controversial".

1. Yonce Run The World
"Here we go again .."controversial""

2. Kaseem Wild
"Why controversy ?? [profanity deleted] this page , it's always bad when blacks stand up try and call it some controversy what's was bad about his performance ? Wow sick"
"Sick" here probably means "not good" as opposed to its slang highly complimentary meaning.

3. Kevin Justiniano
"What's so controversial about it. Everyone should respect this wonderful and impactful performance he made. Why do we look past all of that. He's Showing true colors of our nations society. Outstanding man."

4. Chris Wellz
"People need to learn the difference between CONTROVERSIAL and UNCOMFORTABLE. The truth cannot be controversial. Subjectivity can be controversial. Objectivity cannot. Because opposing opinions are not a requirement of objective truth."

5. Andrew26101
"why that was deep bro"

6. Chris Wellz
"+Andrew26101 Lol I'm a musician. We're poetic. lol"

7. ktmoney929
"+Chris Wellz amen"

8. Better Nate Than Lever
"Nothing controversial about. It's a fantastic performance that should be praised. He did a great job with a great message. That's all there is to it."

9. DevCr0ws
"Like it is said, when the news brings up 9/11 every year it isnt seen as controversial, when kendrick speaks on a recurring issue that people thought went away in MLK Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech then it is seen as controversial. Listen to the full song yourself but just know how stupid you are."

10. Odu Oba Ara
"And Fela Kuti's spirit lives on! #Fela"

11. DJ Sapien
"What the hell is so controversial about speaking the truth? Denying it is the real controversy"

12. Fabian brown
"Its controversial because it make some people uncomfortable but thats how change starts...Problem with any change you cant control the out come good or bad"

13. Kristian Rivera
"Can someone tell me why this performance was controversial? What was more controversial was the album of the year award, which should have been to Kendrick instead Taylor."

14. Ninja Channel
"1)The song isn't new. 2) You're using the word controversial to grab attention, as it's not really so. 3) You must keep up with what's happening before reporting on it, or you'll lose credibility, as you have here."

15. Jonathon Rosas
"the blacker the berry is old"

16. Nashiem Groce
""Hiipower", isn't even new tho."

17. Ghemony Rygar
"no controversy, just truth!"

Example #3: Kendrick Lamar Grammy Performance 2016

Malik Peay, Published on Feb 15, 2016

Kendrick Lamar Amazing Grammy Performance 2016 Amazing Talent
Grammy's First African American Who Keep it Real Un
Like Uncle Tom's Like Kanya West Only Keeping it Real When it BENEFITS him

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