One of the biggest pluses of this year’s BET Awards came courtesy of the performers, all of whom pushed the boundaries of their individual sets. Anderson .Paak was one of those performers, who delivered a rousing rendition of his latest single “Lockdown,” a song that was released on Juneteenth and acted as a soundtrack for the many Black Lives Matter protests taking place around the country.
Somewhat connected with the song’s official visual, a bruised Anderson .Paak can be seen with his band on a set that gives the vibes of being outside following a riot. Stepping away from his drum set, .Paak fashions a flashlight like a microphone and makes his way across some dancers to the piano, allowing his collaborator — Top Dawg Entertainment’s own Jay Rock — to rap his powerful verse:
“Generation, genocide, what happened to enterprise? Heard the man infiltrated Black Panther, re-energize/
Ain’t nothin’ to figure out, they tryna kill us out, if I take a kneel, see my fist? I’m a killer now, just think, bulls***, you gotta filter out/
Are you really ready for the smoke like a Swisher house? Ready for the revolution, who ready to ride? It won’t be televised/
So tell me, who ready to die? If downtown goin’ up, where we at with the s***s? We at the liquor store, n***a, ‘bout to get us a fifth, know they ‘bout to start lootin’/
Grab the gloves and masks, watch out for them tanks when they rollin’ past…/”
Jay Rock can also be seen throwing a molotov cocktail into the distance, creating a barrel fire with a map of the world in the background, a perfect symbol of the crises we’re all currently facing around the world this year.