Kendrick Lamar made his debut on Austin City Limits, with a stunning performance of his iconic ‘Alright’ and other songs from his album, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ that received 11 Grammy nominations. He also performed tracks from his critically acclaimed debut ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’ on the PBS TV series.

41st Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals

Photo: Kendrick Lamar
Credit: PR Photos

The Compton rapper had a banner year last year, which continues now into the new year, and heading right into the 58th Grammy Awards where, as noted, his album, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ has received 11 nods, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Stunningly, his debut, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city.’received seven nods and he received not one award. It was only last year, that “i” one of the songs of ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ won two Grammys. Perhaps a harbinger of what’s to come?

But it’s not just the awards, it’s the electrifying performances that are drawing notice. Sure, one can listen to that album from start to finish, and feel one has taken a journey straight into the Compton which shaped Kendrick Lamar’s life, and to hear the songs that have moved so many, including, of course, the now iconic ‘Alright’ which has become the unofficial anthem of protests nationwide over police brutality.

Lamar took to the stage at Austin City Limits and did not disappoint for the popular Saturday night PBS show. For those who just saw him debut a new song, ‘Untitled 2′ on ‘The Tonight Show,’ well, that was in retrospect just the teaser for the 13-song set. The hour-long show became the perfect showcase for these powerful songs that, collectively embody the old cliche of the sum being greater than the parts. And, of course, no disrespect to the parts.

He himself, in a recent interview with The New York Times spoke of his intentions, saying, ““This album did what I wanted it to do.” He went on to explain, “That’s not necessarily to sell tons of records — though it didn’t do bad at that either — but to actually have an impact on the people and on the culture of music.”

Yes, Kendrick Lamar is one to watch as his career continues to soar and his music continues to reflect the zeitgeist.

Here’s the full set list of his Austin City Limits concert:

For Free?
Institutionalized (Interlude)
Backseat Freestyle
Swimming Pools
These Walls
Trick Don’t Kill My Vibe
Money Trees
M.A.A.D. City
King Kunta
Blacker the Berry

You can watch Kendrick Lamar’s powerful Austin City Limits performance in its entirety below.

Pictures: PR Photos