Radioactive City: Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons Ignite Grammy Stage!

January 28, 2014


Revenge is a dish best served cold. But in Kendrick’s case, it was red hot! After losing the Grammy for Best Rap Album to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for The Heist, Kendrick was clearly out to make a point…that he’ll be right back on that stage next year, and next time he’ll be holding his own “Gold Sippy-cup”.

As soon as the beat to Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City dropped and Kendrick Lamar appeared onstage alongside Imagine Dragons, EVERYONE in the audience stood up, knowing that they were in for a treat. Blending the Imagine Dragons’ hit single Radioactive with Kendrick’s similarly high-energy anthem was innovative, bringing to life a sound that both artists’ fan bases could truly appreciate. Imagine Dragons’ frontman, Dan Reynolds opened up the performance by singing the opening verse of Radioactive with little to no background music, transitioning brilliantly into the hard-hitting synthesized guitar-laced beat of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, with Kendrick appearing in an all white outfit center-stage belting out his song’s first verse at a furious pace. At this point, if your head wasn’t already violently bobbing back and forth (see Taylor Swift) there was something wrong with you. As soon as Kendrick finished his verse, the beat seamlessly blended right back into Radioactive as Dan Reynolds returned center stage to join Kendrick rocking out with the entire audience. For me, satisfaction had been reached at that point, and I was ready to finally open my backpack to see what I had due for class the next morning, but then Kendrick went on to perform a flawless piece of poetry (MID-PERFORMANCE) as Reynolds dropped to his knees to join his band mates by banging on the drums, that acted as a unique segue into their final act. The culmination of their performance included a paint cannon that blasted both performers while singing the chorus, making sure that they didn’t miss one final opportunity to hype the crowd up to an even larger degree.


I had the privilege of attending Jay-Z’s second-annual Made In America Festival in Philadelphia this Summer and saw Imagine Dragons perform to a huge crowd with the same intensity as seen onscreen Sunday night, so I already knew what to expect from them. As for Kendrick Lamar, I have seen him in concert on three separate occasions, and can undoubtedly say that this was his most impressive performance yet…and this was through a television screen! The man has no limits! His limit does not exist! If you told me that Kendrick Lamar would be performing with Imagine Dragons before the Grammys began, AND that it would be one of the best performances of the entire night, I would have grabbed the remote and switched over to the Pro Bowl and maybe watched a recap of the performance this morning – but boy would that have been a HUGE mistake on my part. Although Kendrick shockingly came up empty-handed after earning seven Grammy nominations, he is truly setting the bar at an incredible height for rap artists today…I think Taylor would agree.

You can check out the performance HERE in case you missed it. Be sure to tweet us @weknowthedj to let us know what you thought about the performance.

-Norman P. (@Earlybird410)

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