Kendrick Lamar performed an electrifying medley of Damn. tracks “DNA” and “Humble” to open the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The rapper relied on a simple yet vivid live presentation, bouncing around the stage in front of a latticework backdrop illuminated by flames at the climax.
Lamar is the top-nominated artist at this year’s ceremony, with eight total nods. The rapper is up for Artist of the Year, and his acclaimed “Humble” video will battle for seven, including Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop Video and Best Direction. In the Video of the Year category, Lamar will compete against the Weeknd (“Reminder”), Bruno Mars (“24K Magic”), Alessia Cara (“Scars to Your Beautiful”) and DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (“Wild Thoughts”).
Lamar issued his fourth LP, Damn., in April. In July, the rapper released a cinematic video for Rihanna collaboration “Loyalty.,” in which the duo fend off hitmen and murder attempts.