HITS Daily Double

Kendrick Lamar took over the ATL Monday night in front of a national TV audience, delivering an electrifying performance during the first-ever halftime show at the CFP National Championship Game on ESPN. The occasion was doubly freighted, with an epic clash of the titans from adjoining Southeastern states underway at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, following a pre-game on-field appearance by President Donald Trump. As Kendrick captivated the crowd at nearby Centennial Olympic Park, with his performance projected onto the big screens at the stadium, Trump reportedly left the scene, avoiding any uncomfortable split-screen opportunities.

The superstar MC did a medley of songs from DAMN. during his mini-set, nimbly navigating his way through "DNA.," "ELEMENT." and "HUMBLE." with the rhythmic acuity of local hero James Brown. Kendrick then broke out "All the Stars," his new single featuring SZA, from the album accompanying Marvel's Black Panther, which he crafted with TDE boss Top Dawg. The segment ended with a promo from the movie.

“It went very, very well,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said of the halftime presentation. “As we had hoped, we had the best of both worlds—the traditional halftime show by those two great marching bands, plus a world-class performance by Kendrick Lamar. The visuals were tremendous, and it was obvious that the folks in the park were having a terrific time.”

Lamar's chart-topping, Grammy-nominated TDE/Aftermath/Interscope set DAMN. has zoomed up to #6 at iTunes in the performance's wake.

Alabama came back from a 13-point halftime deficit to force overtime with top-seeded Georgia and went on to win the thriller 26-23.

The whole of it felt like a monumental cultural moment straddling rich tradition and cutting-edge currency.