Kendrick Lamar's Austin City Limits debut doesn't premiere until Saturday, January 9th, but Rolling Stone has his energetic, empowering performance of To Pimp a Butterfly single "i" from the hour-long set.
The crowd jumped up and down throughout Lamar's funky self-love anthem. The rapper is in top form, running across the stage and flawlessly spitting the speedy verses of To Pimp a Butterfly's most upbeat track.
Lamar's ACL episode follows the January 2nd set starring Alabama Shakes, which launched the second half of the long-running PBS series' 41st season. Ryan Adams, Angélique Kidjo, Sleater-Kinney, Leon Bridges and Tedeschi Trucks Band will also star in upcoming episodes of the latest season, which will run through February 13th.
To Pimp a Butterfly was well-received by critics and fans, taking the top spot on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2015 and debuting at Number One on the Billboard 200.
In support of the album, the Compton rapper hosted several intimate shows as part of his Kunta's Groove Sessions tour. During the eight concerts, Lamar was backed by live band Wesley Theory, recalling the opening track of TPAB. In October, he played the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and was backed by the National Symphony Orchestra. In between promoting his album, Lamar made a surprise appearance in Taylor Swift's star-studded clip for her single "Bad Blood," which featured a new verse from the rapper.
Lamar's ACL debut will air on January 9th on PBS at 9pm EST/8pm CT.