Kendrick Lamar performed during halftime of the Alabama-Georgia game, marking the first ever halftime performance during the College Football Playoff title game. Fans were watching to see if Lamar’s performance is politically charged given President Donald Trump will also be attending the title game. Lamar has been vocal in his disapproval of Trump, but there was not any political overtones, at least during the part of the concert aired on ESPN.
Lamar shared his thoughts on Trump winning the election in an interview with Vice.
“I…don’t…know [how Trump was elected],” Lamar said. “We all are baffled. It is something that completely disregards our moral compass.”
Lamar is a supporter of Barack Obama, and explained to Vice what he viewed as the key differences between the two presidents.
The key differences [between Obama and Trump] are morals, dignity, principles, common sense. How can you follow someone who doesn’t know how to approach someone or speak to them kindly and with compassion and sensitivity? It’s just building up the fire in me. It builds the fire for me to keep pushing as hard as I want to push.
The concert is unique in that it is free and open to the public. It will take place at Olympic Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta, which is less than a mile from Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the game is being played. In an ESPN press release, Lamar spoke about his excitement to perform at halftime.
Having the opportunity to perform at halftime of what will surely be the best game of the year between two deserving universities is truly an honor. Thank you, ESPN, for having me be the first halftime performer ever at the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Ed Erhardt, ESPN’s president of global sales and marketing, explained why Lamar was the choice for the inaugural halftime show.
In each year of the College Football Playoff, we’ve been able to build upon the experience of the last. This year is a true first for college football – and it makes sense that the hottest performer of the moment, Kendrick Lamar, would usher in this new era for the national championship game.
The College Football Playoff organizers are hoping to make the title game like college football’s version of the Super Bowl. According to Sports Illustrated, the marching bands will still perform at halftime, but their performances will be aired on a different ESPN channel. At the beginning of the college football season, Entertainment Tonight reported Taylor Swift would be the headlining performer at the College Football Playoff title game. These reports turned out to be false.
While the halftime performance may be an added piece to the College Football Playoff, music is nothing new to the event. In what has become an annual tradition, the weekend featured several concerts including Jason Derulo, The Chainsmokers and Darius Rucker. Zac Brown Band performed the national anthem.
According to XXL Magazine, Lamar’s latest album Damn sold two million units in the first three months of its release.