Ghost and Kanan were joined by a fresh new face on Sunday night, when rapper Kendrick Lamar made a surprise appearance on Power.
During the episode, Lamar played a homeless drug addict named Laces who helps Kanan settle a score against a rival.
Since bursting on the scene with his 2012 album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Lamar has been hailed as one of the best emcees for a new generation. Earlier this year, K. Dot became the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize for music when his fourth album, DAMN, was honored with the prestigious award.
Despite all of his success, it seems like the Compton-bred rapper isn’t content to rest on his achievements. He’s continuing to push himself in new ways.
Lamar’s portrayal of a mentally ill, yet hilarious, drug addict won him rave reviews from Power fans. Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith dubbed his friend, “Kenzel,” a nod to veteran actor Denzel Washington, while the show’s Twitter account simply said, “He killed it.”
In a conversation between Lamar and Power’s creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp, the rapper said he’s wanted to appear on the hit drama for a while.
“It’s something that’s been in the works for a long time, just being a fan of the show” he said, explaining he’s been interested in being on Power for about four years.
Once the stars finally aligned, Kemp and Lamar had a conversation about how she could work him into the story, but he had one request: he wanted to do something completely out of the box.
“I don’t want to be something people predict or know,” Lamar told Kemp. “I want to be something out of the ordinary, but something I connect to at the same time.”
Lamar called his character a “drug abuser,” a “hot head” and “a character that I know so well, growing up in Compton.” Still, despite his character’s faults, Lamar said he loved Laces because “you don’t want to see nothing happen” to people like him, even though they can be dangerous.
Kemp called Lamar’s performance “fearless,” and the rapper said he learned how to throw himself into his art from making music.
“I think that’s just the approach I take with my music, to always have that open space to evolve,” he said. “The same 100-percent I put into music, I want to put that on the screen as well. “
Judging by the reaction of Power’s fans, Kendrick nailed it.