Kendrick Lamar Was Censored During His Grammys Performance and Now We Know Why

Fans noticed lyric changes during the show.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Kendrick Lamar's powerful Grammys performance of To Pimp a Butterfly tracks "Alright" and "The Blacker the Berry" along with a new song was the most important performance of the night. However, there were some noticeable alterations to Kendrick's performance, specifically leaving out his tracks' original lyrics that include profanity. There was also a brief moment where the rapper's audio cut out during his line in "Alright" where he raps, "Diggin' in my pocket, ain't a profit big enough to feed you." According to Fader, CBS replied in an email, "An instance of profanity was deleted during Kendrick Lamar’s performance of 'Alright.'” When asked for more information, the CBS rep replied simply with, "Fuck." Finally, the rep elaborated and revealed that Kendrick sang the lyric as "Diggin' in my pocket ain’t a profit 'fuck it' big enough to feed you."

So far, there has been no official response on why Kendrick changed the lyrics of the Grammy winning song "Alright" to eliminate the "po-po" line. Instead, he rapped "I'm at the preacher's door/Wanna kill us dead at the preacher's door/We said give em so mo', this one time/Do it for the show/But we gon' be alright." It's important to note that the same line was a subject of controversy following Lamar's performance at the BET Awards. Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera offered his negative interpretation of the song. Lamar responded, "How can you turn a song about hope and turn it into hatred?” It's possible the past controversy inspired Kendrick's changes, but the focus should be on his positive message rather than nit-picking at lyrics.

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