On February 8, 2016 history was made. Kendrick Lamar, renowned rap artist, won a total of 5 Grammys, topping the likes of international pop stars such as Taylor Swift, Ed sheeran, The Weeknd, Drake, and many more artists who were also nominated. Kendrick received a total of 11 Grammy nominations, he fell second to the king of pop Michael Jackson whose record still stands at 12 Grammy nominations.
Lamar has the best rap album of the century and arguably the greatest album period of all-time. No other rapper has had a better Grammy night than Kendrick Lamar. He blew up in 2013 when he was robbed of rap album of the year by Macklemore. Kendrick took the snub with pride and went on to build the masterpiece, “To Pimp A Butterfly”. The album incorporated elements of spoken word, funk, jazz, soul, and hip hop seamlessly.
Kendrick had blissfully mixed these genres to perfection creating a sound unique to him. He attacked the social issues faced today in America such as racism, police brutality, infidelity, lack of knowledge, mental enslavement, lack of unity, inequality, and most importantly hope. All of these topics were addressed in songs such as “Alright”, “The Blacker The Berry”, “i”, and “Mortal Man”.
The impact of these songs were so powerful that the Black Lives Matter movement chose “Alright” to be their anthem giving hope to all black communities throughout the world. The chorus of the song goes “We gone be alright”, this simple saying empowers not just blacks but people period. It is a true sense of hope; with unity anything can be accomplished. The highlight of the Grammys was Kendrick’s performance. He was in a jail in chains singing “The Blacker The Berry” then he broke out of the chains symbolizing his freedom, he even says that, “You can trap my body, but you can’t trap my mind”.
After he’s freed he finds his African roots, realizing his heritage and sings “Alright” with African dancers, he then proceeds to a shining light by himself and performs “Untitled 3” which shed light on Trayvon Martin and those lost to police brutality. His performance resulted in a standing ovation by all his peers and those in attendance, a truly historical night for King Kendrick.