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Watch Kendrick Lamar’s Triumphant ‘California Love’-‘m.A.A.d city’ Medley

Kendrick Lamar, iHeartRadio, "California Love," "m.A.A.d City"

Michael Jackson wasn’t the only late music legend honored at last night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards. Sure, Usher debuted Jackson’s ’80s-glossed posthumous single “Love Never Felt So Good,” but Kendrick Lamar was on hand with a salute to Tupac Shakur (non-holographic, thank Yeezus). The Compton rapper performed a medley that spanned generations in West Coast rap, performing 2Pac’s verse from classic Dr. Dre team-up “California Love” before tearing into his own fiery good kid, m.A.A.d. city reminiscence “m.A.A.d city,” which he previously performed at the Grammys with Imagine Dragons — whose singer, in a full-circle bit of synergy, introduced Lamar here. Watching all the famous people sitting somewhat impassively makes the clip a bit surreal, but not even Blake Shelton’s amiably bemused expression can steal the sense of triumph surrounding the moment, as a TDE-shirted hometown crowd waves along with Lamar. (It doesn’t hurt he says he was there, as an eight-year-old, when Pac and Dre shot the original video.)

If you didn’t want to sit through the ceremony’s appearances by Pitbull or Thirty Seconds To Mars, you’re in luck. Arcade Fire, Pharrell, and Ariana Grande were also among the performers. Watch Arcade Fire do “Normal Person” — and get introduced as “beautiful bitches” by Aaron Paul — over at See Pharrell perform a hits medley and Ariana Grande deliver a medley of her 2013 album Yours Truly‘s blissful “The Way” and her Iggy Azalea-surviving new R&B stunner “Problem.”