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This Black History Month has been one for the books. Ever since Beyonce kicked off the “Formation” movement, Black pride levels have been on tilt. To be Black and proud in 2016 feels so good.

Then the 2016 Grammy Awards happened.

Introduced by Don Cheadle, who will star as the legendary Miles Davis in an upcoming biopic, Kendrick Lamar dialed up the pride a million notches. The juxtaposition of the Grammy winner being shackled in handcuffs, while a saxophonist played behind bars, was so far from the usual stage performance we are so accustomed to seeing on an awards show stage. Every note, every bar had meaning and were chill- inducing, whether you stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, or you don’t quite understand it.

Whatever side you take, you couldn’t ignore it. Lamar has a way with awareness of the present and the past that’s enough for Black folks of all generations to throw up a fist with pride. Unapologetic and proud, K. dot’s performance outro bled with furious delivery: “Twenty twelve mistakes for the world to see/ Sent us back another 400 years/ This is modern day slavery…”

As some shifted in their seats, the rest of the Grammy audience was up on their feet with a stirring ovation.

Some kid, somewhere, is forever changed. When your favorite rapper looks like you, and reps you, and fights for you, the way N.W.A did in the ’90s, it sticks with you.

Watch the performance above.

SOURCE: Genius | PHOTO: Getty


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Black And Proud: Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy 2016 Performance Sets The Stage On Fire  was originally published on