Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga offer contrasting Grammy performances
Lamar’s opener was a politically charged medley.
Kendrick Lamar opened the Grammys with a politically charged performance that culminated in him pretending to shoot his backing dancers.
The rapper – who is doing battle with Jay-Z in the main categories at the ceremony in New York – was joined by U2 and comedian Dave Chappelle for the performance which was titled “This is satire by Kendrick Lamar”.
It included a medley of songs, starting with XXX. before moving into DNA. and finishing with King’s Dead and was performed against a backdrop of the US flag and marching troops.
Chappelle intervened to tell the crowd: “Hi, I’m Dave Chappelle and I just want to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man being honest in America is being a black man in America.”
The raucous opener saw Lamar shoot his dancers, adorned in red hoodies, before Lady Gaga almost immediately provided a contrasting performance in which she backed Time’s Up with an explicit mention of the anti-sexual harassment movement.
Sitting at a white piano covered in angels wings, she dedicated the rendition of Joanne to her father’s late sister.
She called for “love and compassion” before declaring “Time’s Up” and breaking into a second performance of Grammy-nominated single Million Reasons.
Both performances went down well with fans, with viewers calling for more of Lamar.
@NCw413 wrote on Twitter: “I’m sure all these other performers are really great but for the love of God can we just have Kendrick back?! Why did you open with him?”
I'm sure all these other performers are really great but for the love of God can we just have Kendrick back?! Why did you open with him? #grammys— Go Nancy Go (@ncw413) January 29, 2018
@MrJakeSalinas tweeted: “Not sure how much more convincing you need on Kendrick Lamar being the best artist of his generation, especially after that incredible Grammys opener.”
@Certainlypan posted: “Lady Gaga’s performance at the Grammys tonight was a religous experience.”
Other performers at the 60th Grammys include Childish Gambino, Cardi B and Elton John.