Kendrick Lamar set the bar high for artists who are scheduled to grace the “Saturday Night Live” stage this season. Lamar ushered in the show’s 48th season on Saturday (Oct. 1) with not one, but two impressive performances.
His first set was a medley of “Rich Spirt” and “N95.” While simple in design, the performance was captivating. The stage was transformed into a three-walled room with Lamar standing in the middle. As he rapped, his shadow became the center of attention as it moved on its own in the background. As the music transitioned into the second track, the lyricist moved around the stage, oftentimes cast in the dark and, at other times, seen only through slithers of light that illuminated the stage.
During his second performance, Lamar was joined by Sampha for their collaboration, “Father Time.” Each of the songs are featured on the Compton emcee’s latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Again, the set appeared as a room but this time a single chair, bed, and nightstand with a lamp were used as props. Shadows, lighting, and minimal moving again accented the performance. All the while the walls of the room closed in on both men.
Saturday’s appearance on the sketch show marked the “Pray For Me” artist’s third time on the show. He previously performed in 2013 and again in 2018. He recently concluded the U.S. leg of “The Big Steppers Tour.” His European run kicks off next Friday (Oct. 7) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In total, he is expected to touch down in 16 different cities.
Next up on “SNL’s” performance schedule is Willow on Oct. 8, and Megan Thee Stallion on Oct. 15. The Houston hottie will pull double-duty as guest performer and host that night. You can watch both of his “SNL” performances below.
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