On Sunday, Lamar ended his performance on the Pyramid Stage at the 2022 Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. with a reference to "women's rights" during his new song "Savior," which the rapper called his "favorite record" from his latest album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.
Released in May, the Baby Keem and Sam Dew-featuring track examines politics, COVID-19 conspiracies, and the Black Lives Matter movement. "Seen a Christian say the vaccine mark of the beast / Then he caught COVID and prayed to Pfizer for relief," raps Lamar. "Then I caught COVID and started to question Kyrie / Will I stay organic or hurt in this bed for two weeks?"
During the 35-year-old musician's performance of "Savior," for which he wore a crown of diamond thorns, fake blood continuously poured down his face and soaked his white t-shirt. Lamar then added new lyrics to the end of the song, exclaiming, "They judge me; they judge Christ / Godspeed for women's rights."
The Grammy winner repeated the plea multiple times, each with increasing intensity, as his dancers stood completely still around him and stared at the crowd. He eventually stopped mid-sentence and threw his microphone to the ground before walking off stage, leaving his dancers frozen behind.
Lamar seemed to use the final number to denounce the US Supreme Court's decision to end the constitutional right of abortion in America, which happened earlier this month and allows states to ban people from getting abortions.
The now-infamous, diamond-encrusted crown of thorns was initially worn by Lamar on the cover of Mr Morale & The Big Steppers. With 8,000 cobblestone micro pave diamonds, the crown was created by the rapper, his longtime creative collaborator Dave Free and Tiffany & Co, according to diamond expert Maxwell Stone from UK retailer Steven Stone.
"Referencing the crown during his set, Kendrick stated that imperfection is beautiful and that he wears it as a reminder," said Stone in a press release. "Seen as a badge of sin, a crown of thorns is one of the most widely recognized symbols of religious iconography and with Kendrick being vocal about his Christian faith in the past, his choice to wear one is incredibly poignant."
Lamar told the Glastonbury audience ahead of the "Savior" performance, "I wear this crown. They judge Christ. They judge you, they judge Christ."
Samir Hussein/WireImage Kendrick Lamar
At the BET Awards 2022 on Sunday, host Taraji P. Henson shared her thoughts during her opening monologue.
"It's about time we step into our power," said Henson, 51, who wore a gold dress with cutouts during her opening speech. "It's about time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman."
"It's a sad day in America. A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life if she chooses to," she continued. "It's about time I got that off my chest."