19 KENDRICK LAMAR
WHETHER IT’S IN music or fashion, hip-hop icon Kendrick Lamar is an artist who always has something to say. At last summer’s edition of the Glastonbury Festival, one of the U.K.’s biggest concert events, Lamar deftly dramatized the burden that can sometimes come with being rap royalty, taking the stage in a custom-made titanium and pavé-diamond crown by jewelers Tiffany & Co. — the same one he wore on the cover of his latest album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. As his performance went on, fake blood flowed down his face that left his white button-down shirt soaked in deeply metaphorical red. “They judge you, they judge Christ/Godspeed for women’s rights,” he rapped, an apparent allusion to the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade. It’s just one potent example of how in Lamar’s world, style is the vessel that serves a larger message. His shirt that night was a Louis Vuitton piece designed by the late Virgil Abloh, a godfather of luxury streetwear who made history as the brand’s first Black director. The crown was made in collaboration with Lamar’s close friend, producer and filmmaker Dave Free, who said it was a “godly representation of hood philosophies told from a digestible youthful lens.” Lamar not only made his point, he also looked cool doing it. The crown may get heavy, but he always wears it well.