By Scott T. Sterling

Kendrick Lamar, U2 and Dave Chappelle united to open the GRAMMYs in a big, bombastic way.

Related: Grammy Awards: 2018 Winners List

Kendrick Lamar launched this year’s ceremony onstage amidst a group of men dressed as soldiers in front of the image of a large, billowing American flag while performing the track, “XXX.”

The group ceded the stage to Bono and the Edge of U2, who added their parts to the song on which they’re featured from Lamar’s latest album, DAMN.

The performance was briefly “interrupted” by comedian Dave Chappelle, who turned up the political edge of the moment.

“I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America,” he said.

Lamar returned to center stage with a dancer and taiko drummer for “DNA” and verses from Jay Rock’s “King’s Dead” with the dancers returning for a dramatic grand finale.

Lamar, who went into the evening with seven GRAMMY nominations, at press time had already won awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video.

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