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Kendrick Lamar’s Unapologetically African Grammy Performance Was One For The Ages

Watch the Kendrick Lamar Africa inspired Grammy set of To Pimp A Butterfly tracks "The Blacker The Berry" and "Alright."


It might not be a stretch to call Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 Grammys performance one of the most powerful in live television history. After sweeping the rap categories at tonight’s awards and being introduced by Don Cheadle, the Compton rapper and his dancers stepped out on stage in chains from inside a prison set before launching into “The Blacker The Berry.” “I’m African-American. I’m African” Kendrick raps on the To Pimp A Butterfly track.

Soon the performers were unchained, covered in glow-in-the-dark paint and surrounded by fire. Then suddenly, the performance transitioned into a nod to the continent as Kendrick began performing his Rap Song of the Year, “Alright," which the rapper recently revealed was inspired by a trip to South Africa.

All of this of course led up to the grand finale, an impassioned unveiling of a new track that ended with Lamar in front of a map of the African continent with the word “Compton” written on it.

The end result was nothing short of magnificent. Watch the full performance below.

Speaking with Billboard before the show, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich spoke on the “provocative” nature of the performance. "Kendrick came to us and said that we live in a time where these issues confront us every day and that it’s important that they be given a public forum, and he would like to use his x number of minutes to create a great performance that is consistent with his this year. 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." Check out some reactions of the Kendrick Lamar Compton Africa moment from Twitter below.

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The Artist Is Present: Williams Chechet Utilizes Pop Art To Remind You To Know Your History

Meet the Nigerian multi-hyphenate creative whose work speaks for itself—check it out with OkayAfrica.

Williams Chechet is a multi-talented pop artist, graphic designer, illustrator and muralist who's one to watch. The Nigerian creative is influenced by his culture, history, afrofuturism, afrobeats and hip hop—and this screams at you when looking at his body of explosive work.

He seamlessly speaks through his vibrant visuals. Chechet's past work and due props include a series centered around leaders in Nigeria, a renowned celebration of heritage called We are the North on Northern Nigeria, a CNN Africa feature, a mural for Hard Rock Cafe Lagos, live art on MTV Base, album covers for M.I., Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, clothing with Pop Caven and an American streetwear brand we can't disclose just yet. More recently, he's collaborated with Cameroonian pop artist Fred Ebami on an icon series.

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This New Sarkodie Track 'Ye Be Pa Wo' Is Fire

You need to listen to the Ghanaian hip-hop heavyweight's new single "Ye Be Pa Wo."

Sarkodie rolls through and proves, once again, why he's at the top of the African rap game with his latest drop, ""Ye Be Pa Wo."

The new track, which was produced by fellow Ghanaian producer MOG Beatz (who previously did Sark's "Gboza") is a relentless injection of pure energy and rhymes.

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Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

11 South African Hip-Hop Songs About Weed

4/20 Special: Here are 11 South African songs to get high to.

You can't separate hip-hop and weed. Dr. Dre's debut album The Chronic was named after the herb and the likes of Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Quasimoto pretty much made careers off rapping about weed.

The tradition is alive wherever hip-hop exists. In South Africa, weed has been rapped about just as much as the aforementioned artists have. And according to Lord Quas on "America's Most Blunted" from the album Madvillainy, listening to music under the influence of weed makes it sound better.

"Listening to music while stoned is a whole new world. Most cannabis consumers report it second only to sex. And grass will change your musical habits, for the better."

In light of 4/20, we list some South African hip-hop songs, both old and new, about weed. If you're a smoker, these songs could come in handy for you today.

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