Wow. Kendrick Lamar was incredible at the politically charged MTV Video Music Awards. Didn’t see it? Well, you missed out.
His huge opening number at the Sunday, Aug. 27, ceremony featured Fox News audio about police brutality before exploding into the celebratory “DNA.” Then, it transitioned to “Humble,” the lead single from “Damn,” which featured a stunt person twirling around and covered in flames. The fire theme continued as dancers climbed up a blazing wall as Lamar rapped the first verse.
The eye-catching performance was only the beginning for the chart-topping rapper. Lamar, who was nominated with a leading eight gender-neutral VMAs, took home six. Video of the year, best hip-hop video, best art direction, best visual effects, best cinematography and best direction all belonged to Lamar, who stayed true to his song’s title while accepting the first award for “Humble.”
Other Big K. Dot Moments
- Kendrick Lamar Comes for Absolutely Everybody, Including the President, In Quietly Dropped Single
- Backlash Erupts Over Kendrick Lamar’s Praise of Women’s Natural Bodies in ‘Humble’ Video
- Fans Speculate on Kendrick Lamar’s Album Messages After ‘Damn’ Drops on Good Friday
“I’ve been nothing without my team,” Lamar says. “[Writer and Top Dawg Entertainment president] Dave Free. I’ve been rocking with this guy since I was 14 years old. He’s always been a visionary. We always put our heads together and he’s one of the greatest visionaries in the game.”
Lamar also called director Dave Meyers a “genius” and gave love to his fans, before Free encouraged the crowd to give back to youth. Meyers then credited Lamar for being the pinnacle of standing out from the pack.
Elsewhere, the ceremony called out the politics of the day, with appearances from Gen. Robert E. Lee descendant Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, who called racism “America’s original sin.”
Susan Bro announced a nonprofit in her daughter’s memory. Bro is the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed during a violent pro-Confederate monument protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.
And, Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson totally denounced white supremacists, saying, “We must resist.”