Wearing a crown of thorns, Kendrick Lamar took to the mic from the front row of the Louis Vuitton Men’s show in Paris today to pay tribute to the brand’s late creative director, Virgil Abloh, who died in November 2021.
Lamar performed an orchestral-backed medley of tracks from his latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, including “N95,” as well as “Savior,” “Rich Spirit” and “Count Me Out,” closing out the rendition with a repeated mantra of “Long live Virgil.” (In the video below, he appears just before the 13-minute mark.) Seated between his pgLang partner Dave Free and model Naomi Campbell, he wore a slate-gray LV suit, silver-tipped cowboy boots, and what appears to be the same diamond-covered crown that he donned for the Mr. Morale album artwork.
As Lamar soundtracked the show’s finale, models carried a huge rainbow banner down the runway, which resembled a looping roller coaster of a yellow brick road. (Abloh’s earliest Vuitton collections paid homage to The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz.) In Abloh’s stead, the entire LV men’s team eased on down the yellow runway to close out the show.
And this isn’t Kendrick’s first homage to Virgil: Back in February, Lamar wore a custom Abloh-designed Louis Vuitton suit while performing alongside Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Elsewhere in Europe, Lamar is set to headline the Glastonbury music festival in England on Sunday.