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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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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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News Brief

Netflix Has Picked Up an Animated Musical Inspired by Shona Mythology

"Tunga" is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born screenwriter Godwin Jabangwe.

The latest African story to become a Netflix original will be an animated, family-friendly musical based on Zimbabwean culture, Deadline reports. The streaming service won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, created by Zimbabwean-born screenwriter and newcomer to the film industry Godwin Jabangwe.

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'Play Am' single cover.

Burna Boy Teams Up With Oritse Femi & Konshens on New Track 'Play Am'

Nigeria meets Jamaica on the Young D-produced dancehall-infused jam.

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one.

The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am."

The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

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