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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.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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