Music by VICE

Watch Kendrick Lamar and U2 Open the 2018 Grammys

The Compton rapper performed hits from his 'DAMN.' album at Madison Square Garden Sunday night.

by Lawrence Burney
Jan 29 2018, 12:49am

Kendrick Lamar has a reputation for pouring his heart into televised performances. Just two years ago, he caused a stir across political broadcasts when he took the Grammy stage performing as a prisoner, and projecting "Compton" across a map of Africa. This year the rap titan built onto that legacy Sunday night when he kicked off the 2018 Grammys.

He opened the show backed by a digital waving American flag surrounded by marching soldiers in ski masks. Rapping the first verse of he and U2's "XXX." Bono came out soon after crooning his contributions to the hit song. K Dot added a jolt of energy to the set when he closed out with soldiers closing in on him before bouncing around in unison. Watch the performance below

And just as the set seemed to end, Dave Chappelle appeared to remind the crowd of Kendrick's greatness, stating "The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America." Right after, gunshots punctuated each of Kendrick's bars, laying down all of his soldiers. They rose back to life just before K Dot closed out. Watch the performance above:

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Kendrick Lamar
The Grammys