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Kendrick Lamar dominates Grammys stage, rap category

Lamar's success has resonated with pride for many young people in Compton, including its youngest-ever mayor, Aja Brown.

Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during The 58th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Getty/Jeff Kravitz

Kendrick Lamar wows with dramatic, stunning performances; keeps skyrocketing with five Grammys in rap category

COMPTON (MNS) — Hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar just keeps getting better. On the heels of being presented with the Key to the City of Compton, the prolific rap music artist garnered five Grammy Awards at the 58th annual Grammy Awards including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Music Video.

On a night when several performances stood above the pack, including a dedication to the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire led by Stevie Wonder, and a riveting dedication to Lionel Ritchie, Lamar delivered the performance of the evening, walking onto the stage as part of a chain gang to perform “The Blacker The Berry” with his band locked inside jail cells.

Lamar followed up the striking visuals by performing “Alright” in front of a giant bonfire, and transitioned into a never before heard song utilizing some fast action camera work, before ending the performance with the name Compton emblazoned over an image of the African continent. It was one of the most dramatic performances in Grammy history. The songs, both off Lamar’s critically acclaimed album To Pimp A Butterfly speak directly to the Black experience in America’s urban core.

Adele performed after Lamar and ended her time by saying, “Kendrick, you’re amazing.”

To Pimp A Butterfly netted Lamar seven Grammy nominations this year, alone (out of a total 11 nominations). Lamar took home four awards before the show began, and picked up another award for Best Rap Album at the beginning of the show.

Lamar’s star has reflected brightly on the city where he grew up. His success has especially resonated with pride for many young people in Compton, including its youngest-ever mayor, Aja Brown.

“On behalf of myself, the Compton City Council and the entire city of Compton, congratulations to Kendrick Lamar on his five Grammy Awards,” she said in a statement. “As an artist, Kendrick Lamar displayed his depth of social consciousness and activism through his awe-inspiring Grammy performance — a performance that wasn’t merely for entertainment, but that was strategically designed to send a strong message to this generation and our entire society.

“Mr. Lamar once again boldly challenged us to continually rethink our society’s institutions, specifically the need for change in our criminal justice system by highlighting the plight of African-American males and people of color. When Kendrick Lamar won, Compton won,” Brown continued. “[His] achievements further Compton’s legacy of ingenuity and excellence. He represents Compton’s evolution, embodying the new vision for Compton—purpose, prosperity, and progress. I appreciate — we appreciate Mr. Lamar always representing Compton with great pride in any venue — from the White House to the Grammys.”

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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