Kendrick Lamar made a rare TV appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday (May 27), treating fans to a stunning live rendition of “These Walls.”
K-Dot gave the emotionally conflicted To Pimp A Butterfly track the full performance art treatment, complete with a white-clad couple who danced around the stage as a nearby artist painted a portrait of them (it was presented to Ellen after the song — jealous!). Meanwhile, Kendrick looked entirely in the zone, building to an exhilarating climax on the third verse and going out with a bang.
After the performance, Ellen gushed about Kendrick’s recent achievements, including his Grammy win for “i” and his prestigious Generational Icon Award from the California State Senate.
“It means everything to me because I know a lot of kids in my neighborhood [are] watching TV and saying, ‘You know what? I want to be a positive influence just like Kendrick Lamar, or whoever’s out there doing something for the good of the culture and for music,” he said about being a conscientious role model.
The Compton rapper acknowledged his parents for encouraging him to succeed, saying, “They put something in my heart to do something more than what I was raised around, and taking all my influence, whether negative or positive, and doing it in the right way.”
“I’ve always been a fan of hers and she’s a fan of my music, and she reached out and we got it done,” he explained.
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