Beforehand, you had to wonder what inspired this pairing, other than an urge to further insult hip-hop that wasn't Macklemore or Jay Z. But who could've guessed that Imagine Dragons' nth-generation Coldplay grocery-store puffball "Radioactive" would provide such a powerful hook for Kendrick Lamar's hurtling jeremiad "M.A.A.d City," or that the Dragons would transform into a theatrically percussive troupe a la Blue Man Group (a.k.a., White Man Group?), or that Kendrick would stalk the stage with a ferocity that was the "Control" verse x10, spitting his track's convulsive narrative as if he had his hands death-gripped around Grammy darling Macklemore's throat the whole time: "You know that shit's mine, Ben, you know that. Just so you know that fucking statue's mine, you seahawk-ass simp motherfucker." Suddenly, the performance bar for the night was raised and tossed aside in disgust as Kendrick kept the intensity lit, sending waves of chills as he ripped off a furiously Grammy-unfriendly, violence-riddled soliloquy about gangs and guns and bodies on top of bodies. It was a feel-bad-feel-good moment of conflicted euphoria, the sort of thing that's somehow too complicated for the Grammys to understand or appreciate, let alone reward. But you know what? Kendrick Lamar proved on Grammy night that his career will be long and fruitful, no matter how many imaginary dragons he has to slay. And as veteran hip-hop journo Jayson Rodriguez put it on Twitter: "Grammy voters right now: 'Man, this guy is GREAT, maybe we should have given him Best Rap Album….'" Don't worry, you fossils, he's already on to the next one. C.A.