He was joined onstage by Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, an often outspoken advocate for Black people. Activist Tamika Mallory and actor Kendrick Sampson also made appearances. The performance opened with Sampson being pulled over by two white police officers who tackle then eventually shoot him as he runs away.
Lil Baby then joins recreations of the protests that occurred over the summer in support of Black Lives Matter and in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and the countless other black Americans who have been killed over the years. Mallory gave a speech mid-performance, addressing President Joe Biden directly and demanding justice. Later, Killer Mike performed a verse from Run the Jewels’ “Walking in the Snow.”
The rapper earned two Grammy nominations for “The Bigger Picture” this year: Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. (He lost both to Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce’s “Savage”.)
“The Bigger Picture” was released in the midst of a summer of turmoil sparked by the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police. On it, Lil Baby recounts the way law enforcement have targeted him and Black people all over America.
“My performance is important to me and I had to make sure it was right,” the rapper told Rolling Stone on Sunday. “Nominations aside, actually performing ‘The Bigger Picture’ means the most to me. I paint pictures with my songs and wanted the performance to bring that picture to life. Just like with the song, this performance had to reflect the real. No sugar-coating. My family, my fans and my city know who I do this for.”
“I just rap about my life — all my songs are basically about me,” Lil Baby told Rolling Stone last summer. “It was at a point where I felt I needed to say something.”
Last year, Lil Baby earned a Best Rap/Sung Performance Grammy nomination for “Drip Too Hard” with Gunna.