The 58th annual Grammy Awards on Monday celebrated a young generation of chart- dominating pop stars, with Taylor Swift winning album of the year for “1989” and Kendrick Lamar sweeping the rap categories, even as the show devoted much of its airtime to lionizing musical heroes of decades past.
And Kendrick Lamar, the rapper whose complex songs about black identity and racial strife have dazzled critics and become touchstones of the Black Lives Matter movement, took a total of five prizes and delivered a confrontational medley of his songs “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright.”
For his performance, Mr. Lamar appeared in chains and a blue prison uniform, surrounded by other black men. After a blistering rap, he stood in front of a giant glowing map of Africa marked with the word “Compton.”
That is surely going to blow you away.
However Mr lamar closed his performance by dedicating the awards to hip hop heads like Nas, Snoop Dogg.
He said, This is for Hip-hop, This is for Snoop-Dogg, Doggystyle, This is for illimatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever, believe that"
Accepting her trophy for album of the year, Ms. Swift said she was the first woman to win the prize twice and made a statement that was a firm affirmation of her own celebrity, as well as what many viewers interpreted as a response to Kanye West, who recently released lyrics referencing their on-and-off feud. “All the young women out there,” she said, “there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.” “If you just focus on the work,” Ms. Swift continued, “and don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday you will get where you are going. You’ll look around, and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
Although Ms. Swift had been nominated for all of the most prestigious categories, the top awards were split fairly evenly among a crop of young stars. Mark Ronson won record of the year for “Uptown Funk,” the upbeat, retro dance song featuring Bruno Mars that dominated radio last year and that they played at the Super Bowl. Ed Sheeran, the cherubic British singer-songwriter, wonsong of the year for his soul-inflected ballad “Thinking Out Loud,” sharing the prize with his co-writer, Amy Wadge. The awards, broadcast by CBS from the Staples Center here, had kicked off with a rush of youth, featuring Ms. Swift in a hyper-confident performance her song “Out of the Woods” in a sleek sequined jumpsuit and short bob.