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During the performance, an artist painted an image of the male and female dancers that accompanied Lamar as he rapped “These Walls” from his recent album To Pimp a Butterfly.
Following his performance, DeGeneres gave a congratulatory shout out to his Grammy win and asked the singer what it means for him to be a positive icon. “It means everything to me because I know there’s a lot of kids in my neighborhood that’s (sic) watching TV and saying ‘you know what, I want to be a positive influence just like Kendrick Lamar, or whoever is out there doing something for the good,’ ” Lamar said.
The Compton native extended gratitude to his parents for pushing him to succeed: “They put something in my heart to do something more than what I was raised around, in taking all my influence, whether negative or positive, and doing it in the right way.
As for Taylor Swift, Lamar said the singer — a self-declared fan of the rapper — reached out to him about appearing in her “Bad Blood” music video: “I’ve always been a fan of hers, and she was a fan of my music and she reached out and we got it done.”
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