It’s becoming increasingly evident that Beyoncé‘s favorite thing to do is drop something incredible and breathtaking into the world without any warning and then watch us all lose our minds: a single, an album, and now a live performance.
Bey opened up the BET Awards on Sunday night with a surprise performance of her Lemonade track “Freedom,” with her dancers marching out into the audience over a recording of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
The “Sorry” singer splashed her way across the stage of Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater in a massive runway pool, very similar to the waterworks setup she uses on the runway of her Formation World Tour.
“Freedom, freedom! Where are you? ‘Cause I need freedom too,” she declares. “I break chains all by myself / Won’t let my freedom rot in hell / I’mma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
To our amazement, Beyoncé’s performance itself wasn’t the only surprise because Kendrick Lamar, featured on the album version of the track, emerged from below the floor in a grand fashion to spit some bars before joining the singer in a pool of water. They stomped and splashed through the song’s finale, leaving a powerful image of them next to each other with Bey’s arm on his shoulder.
“Open correctional gates in higher desert / Open our mind as we cast away oppression,” the Grammy award winner rapped. “Open the streets and watch our beliefs / And when they carve my name inside the concrete, I pray it forever reads [freedom].”
For an awards show that promised a very-hyped tribute to the late Prince as its finale, this opening definitely lived up to the anticipation. Check out the performance of “Freedom” down below!