Last night, Kendrick Lamar was the featured guest on The Colbert Report. Watch the official videos of his interview and performance below.
Kendrick Lamar Interview with Stephen Colbert 2014
Kendrick Lamar Performs "Untitled" on The Colbert Report 2014
As usual, the Colbert interview is a hilarious ride that teeters between silly and serious (although this one seems especially silly). Since this is the last week of The Colbert Report, before Stephen takes over for David Letterman on The Late show, Kendrick Lamar will go down in history as the last musical guest in Colbert Report history. Kendrick talks about "coming from a dark place and doing something positive" as he's questioned about coming straight out of Compton and staying true to who he is as an artist and a writer.
The performance is a powerful one. The song, which is currently untitled, is like a cross between beat poetry, funk, and new school R&B. Jazzy elements lay the foundation for Kendrick's socially conscious rhymes. The lyrical content revolves around race, as Kendrick raps from the perspective of 4 characters: an Asian, an Indian, a white man, and a black man. Interwoven into those characters' dialogue are themes ranging from religion to sex, money, and exploitation. It's a heavy song, executed brilliantly.
The band behind Kendrick includes Thundercat on bass, Terrance Martin on sax, and backup singers Bilal and Anna Wise. It's also worth noting that Kendrick totes a flask by the end of the song, and during the interview he told Colbert he doesn't smoke marijuana.