Kendrick Lamar halftime performance lights up Centennial Olympic Park

January 8, 2018 – ATLANTA: Grammy Award winning rapper, singer songwriter Kendrick Lamar performing for the halftime for the College Football Playoff championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Centennial Olympic Park on Monday, January 8, 2018. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Eye of Ramsess Media)

While the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide battled for college football supremacy under the closed roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, rap luminary Kendrick Lamar combated damp, chilly weather at nearby Centennial Olympic Park.

January 8, 2018 – ATLANTA: Grammy Award winning rapper, singer songwriter Kendrick Lamar performing for the halftime for the College Football Playoff championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Centennial Olympic Park on Monday, January 8, 2018. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Eye of Ramsess Media)


LIVE UPDATES: Georgia vs. Alabama for national championship

Expectations were high for Lamar’s appearance, which will be footnoted as the first-ever halftime performance at the College Football Playoff National Championship. The musical showcase aired live on ESPN, but not inside the stadium, where the university bands received the spotlight.

The 30-year-old native of Compton, Calif., took to the massive stage and catwalk as the game tilted in Georgia’s favor with a 13-0 lead.

A few thousand fans led a chant of “Ken-drick La-mar” until the cerebral rapper was illuminated in white light, crouched at the back of the stage.

Pops of pyro and a haze of smoke blanketed the background as Lamar, clad in a black coat with fur-ringed hood and gloves, blasted through favorites including “DNA” and “Humble.”

The vivacious audience sang along heartily and pumped their fists to the choruses as Lamar stalked the stage alone.

Lamar nimbly spit his rhymes, leading the crowd in a hand bounce, but kept the focus solely on his music.

With his nine-minute performance completed, he strode to each end of the stage, saluting the audience, which waved its smartphones (despite the pre-performance announcement that phones were not permitted) in a desperate attempt to coax him into one more song.

Lamar’s presence was a notable draw. A few minutes before kickoff, music and football devotees filled about half of the park – most of them crowded toward the massive video screen broadcasting the game, with many others hanging back, clearly not interested in anything to do with pigskin.

“Chappie” Chapman was waiting with a beer in her hand and one at her feet for Lamar’s performance. When asked if she had any interest in the game, she smiled.

“Not. At. All,” she said.

Chapman lives near the park and said when she heard at work today that Lamar was playing, she knew how her night would be spent.

“When you have Kendrick Lamar for free…,” she said, her voice implying the “no-brainer”-ness of the opportunity.

January 8, 2018 – ATLANTA: The crowd getting hyped for Kendrick Lamar to hit the stage to perform for the halftime College Football Playoff Championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Centennial Olympic Park on Monday, January 8, 2018. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Eye of Ramsess Media)

Likewise 19-year-old Decatur resident Branden Smith, who came to the park with his football fan brother. Smith, however, was only there for the halftime show.

“I’ve never seen (Lamar) live, and I like his music,” Smith said, citing “Damn” as a favorite.

Lamar, who performed in Atlanta last summer with a sold-out show at Infinite Energy Arena, is poised to have a big night at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 28 in New York.

He is nominated for seven awards, including album of the year and best rap album for “Damn” and record of the year for “Humble.” He’s already received seven Grammy awards in his career.

Lamar’s prestige factor also received a boost last week with the announcement that he and his Top Dawg Entertainment record label chief Anthony Tiffith will curate and produce the soundtrack to Marvel’s “Black Panther.”

The film arrives Feb. 16; the soundtrack will feature the newly released Lamar single with labelmate SZA, “All the Stars.”

Reader Comments 0

13 comments
Shagnasty7124
Shagnasty7124

Do people actually get paid to sound and act like that?  What are the words to what ever he was or was suppose to say. 

kmsmits
kmsmits

You could not hear anything he said and he was lip syncing too really badly.  Awful performance.   It's sad music has come to this. 

Scamwatcher
Scamwatcher

Piece of crap rap trash who has to grab his crotch to spout out stupid lyrics that any drunk could do. Only uneducated morons book someone like this or listen to this trash. Fire the moron who booked him!

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

in the fewest words.....Kendrick Lamar is saying.....


what’s goin’ on isn’t really in our hands. If it’s not in the president’s hands, then it’s definitely not in yours. . . . There’s something else that’s out there that’s pushing the buttons, so they can do whatever they want to do, been doing it for years, we’re all puppets.6

GBelle
GBelle

No it didn't.  I would much rather have listened to the marching bands from both schools than listen to that crap.  Isn't he a Kardashian now?

JohnQ2
JohnQ2

Was that what we are calling entertainment these days? sad. 

The performer might be a nice person, but that was a pathetic performance. And what about the buffoons in the audience?? 

HonkyKat99
HonkyKat99

Gee.....another black rapper. How many does that give the US now? About 2.5 million?

Corey
Corey

@HonkyKat99  Gee, another person who has a problem just being white and feels the need to always gripe about "those people".  The kids in the audience appeared to be having a good time, which means he accomplished what he was there to do. Rap/hip hop has an international appeal, although it's not my preferred listening pleasure. I grew up on the Motown sound. This is a big wide world, and there is something out their for everybody. Relax and stop examining the trees; enjoy the great forest. 

WWYT?
WWYT?

That was the worst music I ever heard.  Especially the third "song".  My dog even left the room.

Scamwatcher
Scamwatcher

Lillian is a lying spam scammer criminal who needs to be arrested.