Kendrick Lamar: The political performer we need

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(CNN) — In 2016, rapper Kendrick Lamar electrified the audience and set Twitter on fire with a powerful, political performance at the Grammys.

Two years later, he opened the awards ceremony and did the same thing.

The Compton, California native is the reigning prince of hip hop and the Wizard of Woke (if you don’t know what “woke” means, Google it).

Note that his single “Alright” is considered by many to be one of the anthems of the Black Lives Matter movement, with his lyric “we gonna be alright” a popular chant during marches.

When Lamar performed it at the 2016 Grammy Awards, along with his single “The Blacker the Berry,” he started out in shackles as part of a chain gang and segued into a giant bonfire, all while powerfully rapping about the black experience in America.

His critically acclaimed 2015 album,”To Pimp A Butterfly” earned 11 Grammy nominations and won five.

But that wasn’t his first time on the music scene.

Lamar’s 2012 debut album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” was nominated for seven Grammys but failed to snag any.

The rapper released several mix tapes early in his career and made guest appearances on projects with artists, including Drake, Talib Kweli, Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne.

Lamar’s most recent album, “DAMN.” has been another critical and commercial success.

His show-opening performance at Sunday’s Grammy Awards earned him a standing ovation from the audience at Madison Square Garden and plenty of praise on social media.

The rapper had a good night, winning five awards including best rap album and best music video for his song “Humble.”

Last August, Lamar talked to Rolling Stone about why, despite being incredibly political in his music, he doesn’t often speak about President Donald Trump.

“We already know what it is,” he said. “Are we gonna keep talking about it or are we gonna take action? You just get to a point where you’re tired of talking about it.”

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