Music

Kendrick Lamar & Sampha Brought Storytelling to ‘Saturday Night Live’

On Saturday, Kendrick Lamar took the Saturday Night Live stage to perform “Rich Spirit,” “N95” and “Father Time” with Sampha.

Halfway through The Big Steppers Tour with Baby Keem and Tanna Leone, Kendrick Lamar stopped by Saturday Night Live to bring material from Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers to life. The Compton native opened with “Rich Spirit” performing beside an electric fan and a dancing shadow of himself.

Kendrick then broke into “N95” without collaborator Baby Keem, with messages on the walls reading “Lil L Got His Passport Yall” and “The Homie Jason Keaton Wrote Two Books In Prison The Edges [And] Envy In The Eyes.” Both statements refer to Kendrick’s friend and pgLang music executive Lil L, and Compton-raised author Jason Keaton. A message reading “4 Peez Kee Riches” refers to Los Angeles rapper Kee Riches, who was slain on September 24.

For a second and final act, Kendrick was joined by English singer-songwriter and producer Sampha for their collaboration “Father Time” on a set styled as a minature bedroom, with Kendrick rocking a blue LA Dodgers hat. The scene replicates the opening of Kendrick’s performance during The Big Steppers tour, with the rapper seated at a piano next to a puppet version of himself. The international leg of The Big Steppers Tour begins on October 7 and continues until December 17, with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, London and more.

The next rapper to perform and co-host SNL is Traumazine artist Megan Thee Stallion, who will appear on the comedy series on October 15.

Watch Kendrick’s SNL performance below.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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