Kendrick Lamar’s Big Day at the 2023 Grammy Awards


Jason Koerner / Getty Images

Photo credit to Jason Koerner of Getty Images.

David Young, Staff Writer

Kendrick Lamar is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important artists in the history of rap music. His distinctive and intricate lyrics, which frequently confronts social and political concerns – including racism, poverty, and institutional oppression – has had a considerable influence on the genre.

His albums, such as “good kid, m.A.A.d city”, “To Pimp a Butterfly”, and “DAMN.”, have won praise from critics and fans alike and are recognized for extending the realm of rap music’s viability.

Lamar’s willingness to work with musicians from all genres and his commitment to social activism have also strengthened his position as a major cultural icon.

The 2023 Grammy Awards proved all of this to be without a doubt true.

To kick off the night, Kendrick received the award for Rap Song of the Year, for his song “The Heart Part 5”. “The Heart Part 5” is a beautiful song that discusses black culture, police brutality, and Kendrick’s own friends passing away.

The music video for this record is a piece of art on its own. Kendrick utilizes deepfake technology – technology that can put anyone’s face on another and make it seem like they are saying the words instead. He uses this technology to embody the perspective of some controversial figures such as, O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Jussie Smollett, and Will Smith.

He also uses deepfakes to pay homage to his good friends that have passed away, Kobe Bryant and rapper Nipsey Hussle.

Overall, this is Kendrick Lamar’s 4th career Best Rap Song win which ranks third all time, behind Kanye West and Jay-Z.

The following award he received this Grammy season was for Best Rap Performance.

He received this award, again, for his performance on The Heart Part 5. This is a different category from the Best Rap Song category because while Best Rap Song takes into account features, production, instrumentals, and more, Best Rap Performance solely takes into consideration the actual rapping of the artist.

This is Kendrick’s third win in this category of all time, again ranking 3rd behind Kanye West and Jay-Z.

Finally, to cap off the historic night, Lamar received the award for Best Rap Album for his album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. This was a beautifully written album that again tackled major social issues. This album had hits like “N95” and “Savior”, as well as songs with heavy messages like “The Heart Part 5” and “We Cry Together”. This is Kendrick Lamar’s record sixth win in this category. Second place is Jay-Z with two wins in this category, putting him four behind Kendrick Lamar. 

All in all, Kendrick was able to successfully further his legacy at the 2023 Grammy Awards.