Watch Kendrick Lamar's Epic Politically-Charged Performance of 'Alright' at the BET Awards

Watch Kendrick Lamar's Epic Politically-Charged Performance of 'Alright' at the BET Awards
Source: AP
Source: AP

Kendrick Lamar is never content playing his song the same way twice. To kick off the BET Awards Sunday, Lamar staged a politically charged version of his anthemic "Alright," rapping from on top of a tagged-up police car. He engineered some clever breaks and added an entirely new outro, taking the song to a whole new level.

Standing in of that ragged American flag with his crowd of dancers looking up at him, Lamar looked like a true revolutionary. And he rapped like a man deserving of the best male hip-hop artist award he won later in the night, hitting the most difficult runs and melodic passages effortlessly.

His staging brought out the police brutality themes that run through the song's opening verse, which Lamar rises above during the song's riotous, empowering development. His new outro added a vicious "Control"-esque edge to the song, with Lamar asserting his "innovator, energizer" status to anyone in doubt.

No other performer could have opened the BET Awards with more urgent, fiery energy than Kendrick Lamar. The Compton MC is relentlessly innovating his own sound and the sounds of the genre as a whole. Under Lamar's leadership, hip-hop is going to be all right.

h/t Hot New Hip-hop

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes is a senior staff writer at Mic focused on music, activism and the intersection between the two. He's based in New York and can be reached at tom@mic.com.

MORE FROM

'American Horror Story' season 7 could have a connection to the Piggy Man

The new season may take place partly in a butchery.

Hannibal Burress completely owned the 'Spiderman: Homecoming' red carpet and he didn't even go

The comedian sent a look-alike instead.

The new 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' trailer pulls a couple of genius switcheroos

It's 2017, which means "Jumanji" is a video game, and the selfie-obsessed girl turns into Jack Black.

The 'Game of Thrones' showrunners are almost done writing the final season

The final season may not arrive until 2019.

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.

'American Horror Story' season 7 could have a connection to the Piggy Man

The new season may take place partly in a butchery.

Hannibal Burress completely owned the 'Spiderman: Homecoming' red carpet and he didn't even go

The comedian sent a look-alike instead.

The new 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' trailer pulls a couple of genius switcheroos

It's 2017, which means "Jumanji" is a video game, and the selfie-obsessed girl turns into Jack Black.

The 'Game of Thrones' showrunners are almost done writing the final season

The final season may not arrive until 2019.

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.