Monday, February 15, 2016

Contemplations at the 58th Grammy Awards - Kendrick Lamar

So we are here live blogging backstage at the 58th Grammy Awards. The buzz going in has been the 11 nominations for Kendrick Lamar. Thus far, he has won five... four during the three hour preshow which is not televised. After winning the Rap Album of the year, a category which was televised, Kendrick proceeded to rip the stage with a tremendous and incredibly poignant, artistic, powerful live performance. Just so you know, it's taken me a full hour to come down to consciousness after this emotional presentation.

First I was amazed at the look of shock on the faces of my colleagues here in the media room of the Grammy Awards. I'm sure at first, their cross town perspective was assaulted by the imagery of the black men shackled together in a prison line as Kendrick spit lyrical about the hatred America seems to possess against the black man. I was touched deeply by Kendrick's lyricism and the imagery. I mean it hit me hard... 

Earlier today, as Angelique Kidjo came back to the media room after winning the best world music honor, she used the platform to promote world peace and to encouraged artists to use their creative platform to fight against hatred and racism. To build a message of peace and unity through music. It was a profound a great message in answer to a question posed by one of the journalists here who used Kendrick Lamar as an example of an artist who used violence and hatred in his music. Clearly this man did not know Kendrick Lamar.

I don't think anyone was prepared for what we saw in Kendrick's performance. For me, not only was it a powerful political statement, the performance was poignant because just two days ago, I was in attendance as the City of Compton presented Kendrick with a key to the City. I learned where Kenrick came from. I learned of his desire to give back to the community... I heard from his teachers, I saw his family, his folks from the hood. And now, I see him here, at music's biggest night.. leading the nominations, winning five thus far as I write this.

But the performance surely must go down as one of the best in Grammy History. It was powerful.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Kendrick Lamar is king tonight!!

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