Donning an outfit that mirrors the lives of millions of black men in the prison system, Kendrick Lamar used his platform to uplift his fallen brothers at the Grammy’s this past Monday night (Feb. 15th). Undoubtedly, the man of the hour, Kendrick’s performance was the talk of the night.
For the past week, LL Cool J promised an otherworldly performance from the Compton rapper. Nailing five awards out of 11 nominations, Kendrick wasn’t phased by his abundance of success. He soaked in the love and adoration during his acceptance speech for Best Rap Song in “Alright”, but realized he had a mission at hand. K.Dot knew that he had to serve as the beacon of hope for a culture that’s continuously judged and criticized. He did what Kanye was supposed to do. He didn’t simply let his words or fingers do the talking, he let his actions allow millions of people to be more receptive to the plights of a black man.
Kendrick personifies the adage, “actions speaks louder than words”, while Kanye is completely the opposite.
Kanye on the other hand has already let down hip hop in just a matter of a month. From his Wiz Khalifa-Amber Rose fiasco, to the push-backs for The Life of Pablo, to his alleged meltdown before Saturday Night Live, West is on a downward spiral. Because he’s one of the faces of hip hop, his recent lapses are making the genre look bad.
Instead of living on Twitter, take a stand. Let your music feed our ears. Let your performances be visual reminders to what our culture means. You can talk, but eventually people will mute you and tune you out.
You have a platform, you just gotta remember how to use it a la Kendrick, Mr. West. Share with your friends.