Kendrick Lamar is considered one of the best rappers in the world right now. He also has the honor of being the final musical guest on The Colbert Report. And within moments, Colbert quickly realized he chose wisely. After a humorous interview where the host deduced Kendrick Lamar’s name came from actress Anna Kendrick and Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Compton rapper surprised the audience by performing a new, untitled song.
He rocked the stage with a escalating, jazzy track played by a band that included Bilal, Anna Wise (“Real”), Terrace Martin and bassist Thundercat. Adorned with blue lighting and braids still running wild, Lamar build open the style showcased on “Never Catch Me” that stacked concepts-on-concepts, mixed breakneck speed with nutty rhyme complexity and broke periodically into soulful singsong that reminded us that he’s still somehow a human being. Lamar may still be deviating from classicist rhyming, but a frenetic, unpredictable Lamar is just as exciting.
Watch the video above.