Ahead of critically acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar’s January 9 debut on Austin City Limits, PBS has released a stirring video of him performing his 2015 single Alright.
The selection from his hour-long performance depicts Lamar skillfully riling up the crowd and spitting his culturally conscious rhymes, while his backing band, The Wesley Theory, lays down the groove in the background. ‘90s punk rockers Sleater-Kinney, soul rockers Alabama Shakes, and alt-country musician Ryan Adams are also among the top-tier acts scheduled to be featured on the show in January and February.
While 2012 was Lamar’s breakout year with the release of his number two charting Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, 2015 has solidified his position as one of hip hop’s finest lyricists and performers. In March, he released To Pimp a Butterfly which was co-executive produced by Dr. Dre and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, and recorded in studios across the country. The 16-track LP has since received widespread praise culminating in best album of the year honors from both Rolling Stone, Spin, and other publications.
Alright, which was co-written by Pharrell Williams and Mark Spears, is one of the more uplifting songs on the record and was used as one of the anthems in the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
“When I got to Africa and saw other people’s problems, their struggle was 10 times harder and was raised crazier than what I was,” explained the rapper to MTV News on the inspiration for the song. “Going out there really inspired — I wrote a lot of records off the album just by visiting South Africa. That was the moment I knew, Ok, I could either pimp this situation or fall victim to it. That was a turning point.”
Be sure to catch Alright and the rest of his ACL performance when it airs next month.