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Kendrick Lamar opens 2017 VMAs with fiery performances of 'DNA' and 'Humble'

 (Kendrick Lamar)
(Kendrick Lamar)

Wearing a red scarf on his head and a poofy winter coat onstage, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar opened the 2017 MTV VMAs needing neither.

Within a few minutes of launching with "DNA" a dancer center stage burst into flames. You could almost feel the heat simmering through the screen.

"I was born like this, since one like this," Lamar rapped. "Immaculate conception/I transform like this, perform like this." 

Perform he did, moving into a second track, "Humble," from his recent album "Damn."

Shedding the coat, he stood in front of a fiery backdrop grid that burned as dancers scaled it. As they did so, Lamar rapped, “My left stroke just went viral/Right stroke put lil' baby in a spiral." 

It was the opening shot of a VMAs in which politics and protest may end up taking center stage. Indeed, moments later presenter Paris Jackson drew a rousing applause when she denounced the racism and hatred propogated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. 

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