WATCH: Kendrick Lamar opens Grammys 2018 with epic performance
MANILA, Philippines – Kendrick Lamar went home from the 2018 Grammy Awards with 5 awards, but even before that, the rapper already made his presence felt with his politically charged performance of "XXX," opening the event on a powerful note.
Kendrick's performance started with an American flag waving in the backdrop as dancers portraying soldiers marched on stage. Before long, Kendrick launched into a rhyme that grew more and more frantic until the rapper stopped suddenly and "This is a satire by Kendrick Lamar" appeared behind him.
At that point, Bono and The Edge emerged for a mournful vocal and guitar chorus, which picked up as Kendrick started rapping again.
Comedian Dave Chappelle appeared at another break in between verses, saying, "The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America."
The number then gave way to Kendrick racing through verses from "DNA" and Jay Rock's "King's Dead" – at some point being urged by Dave to "rumble young man, rumble." The epic performance ended with dancers falling to the ground in red, in a stunning statement that perhaps set the socially-conscious tone that took over this year's Grammys. – Rappler.com