Kendrick Lamar unleashed another zeitgeist-shaking performance at the VMAs Sunday. Decked out in red and white, Lamar performed songs from his hit album DAMN, opening his set with “DNA.” But it was “Humble” — performed in front of a literal wall of fire — that really brought the house down.
Lamar’s concerts have been the stuff of legend recently. The rapper, who became the voice of a generation with 2015’s Black Lives Matter anthem “Alright,” has been touring extensively behind his recent albums. Although Lamar has ditched the backup bands that used to accompany him for renditions of his jazz-inflected 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, he remains a “master of stagecraft,” as EW’s Eric Renner Brown wrote about Lamar’s July concert in Brooklyn as part of his DAMN. tour.
Lamar has become known especially for jaw-dropping awards show performances. At the 2016 Grammys, Lamar appeared on stage in chains to play “The Blacker the Berry” and other songs from To Pimp a Butterfly.