In rap #Music there are seminal moments, moments when the game changes and evolves into something more. It inevitably morphs into the coming out party for an artist, long overdue to experience fame. Last night was that night for rapper Kendrick Lamar.
Lamar in the limelight
The 28-year-old Compton, California native put on a performance that was in one word, enrapturing. His latest album "To Pimp A Butterfly," is the marriage of hip hop, street performance, spoken word poetry, and 1920's jazz presented to the world on music's biggest stage, the 58th Grammy's.
Broadcasted from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California and hosted by LL Cool J, Lamar's Grammy act followed what seemed to be a slew of A-list performers. Lamar came out in a prison uniform and chains, proclaiming to the world, "I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2015." From there the performance of "Alright" went in stages, taking Lamar from prison to Africa (which Lamar actually visited in 2015) and back to the prison. It was a statement that's now becoming commonplace with black music entertainers, the plight of black culture and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Beyonce did it with her Super Bowl performance and now Lamar is putting his own unique spin on the matter. To say that Lamar's new genre of jazzy rap is a breath of fresh air would be an understatement, but so was Kanye West's initial arrival on the scene. Now, we've seen his decline at its climax with the outspoken star declaring a $53 million dollar debt via Twitter, and Taylor Swift (Lamar's "Bad Blood" counterpart) bashing him in her acceptance speech.
I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt... Please pray we overcome... This is my true heart...— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
Lamar primed to take the crown from Kanye
Lamar seems poised to take the place that West once occupied, a long-awaited voice that places substance over stature and delivers music that's as meaningful as it is melodic. Still, this is the genesis of an artist even if it's only his second studio album, and to compare him to West might be premature. Both began creating music that spoke to the plight of inner-city ghetto children, and both artists have religious undertones in their songs. West gained fame for his songs, "Jesus Walks" and "Lucifer," while Lamar references the recurring character of "Lucy," a nickname which he created for Lucifer. The similarity is there. West just happened to lose his way after "The College Dropout" album and abandoned his roots for a more mainstream, rock alternative that really never connected with fans. Couple that with his insatiable ego and you've got an artist that nobody cares about.
Lamar seems to have all the makings of greatness, and the world has taken notice with 11 Grammy nominations and five wins last night. What other artist could blend so many genres of music and display it on stage in perfect harmony while making a political statement to boot? The only thing that can be deciphered right now is that the world is going to have Kendrick Lamar's name on the tip of their tongues, possibly for a long time. #Television #Celebrities