Sunday will see Kendrick Lamar take to the Superbowl, performing alongside musicians such as Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, Dr. Dre and Eminem in California. Set to drop a single or full album in the few days ahead of the performance, Kendrick stans will be eagerly awaiting the weekend – us included.
Since the release of his third studio album DAMN, back in 2017, Kendrick has been relatively quiet – aside from soundtracking 2018’s Black Panther movie. However, this album saw the musician ascend to new heights, scoring a number one with ‘Humble’ and leading to a tour, securing his space as one of the greats. We’re rounding up some of his best performances to date, ahead of his biggest performance to date, so sit down, be humble, and get your Kendrick fix ahead of the weekend.
TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY ON COLBERT
Kendrick saw Colbert close out his run on Comedy Central, before being one of the first to perform on his show as host of The Late Show. Just after dropping the most acclaimed album of the year, he was making it his business to turn every major TV appearance into a hip-hop revival, and this performance of his title track was no different.
THESE WALLS ON ELLEN
There’s only one thing better than a Kendrick performance – a Kendrick and Thundercat link up. As well as delivering his signature lyrical magic live, this performance makes the cut as an art experience too: as the song ends, the camera pans back to reveal a painting of the performance, done in real time.
THE BLACKER THE BERRY / ALRIGHT AT THE GRAMMYS
Maybe one of Kung Fu Kenny’s most notorious performances, the 58th Grammy Awards saw him take to the stage to perform a breakout track from TPAB, ‘The Blacker the Berry’. Although he didn’t win the coveted Album of the Year (that went to Taylor Swift), the Compton rapper won 5 awards including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and more that night. But it was his performance that will be etched into the memory of all who watched – a politically minded call out of America’s race problem, all on its biggest stage.
KENDRICK MEDLEY AT THE BET AWARDS
Nothing slaps like old Kendrick. Back in 2013, he treated us to a medley of his greatest songs (at the time), which spotlighted gems like Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe and m.A.A.d City. To top things off, this performance tapped Erykah Badu to provide the vocals. What more could you ask for?