Kendrick Lamar Pays Tribute to Virgil Abloh at Paris Fashion Week 

Kendrick Lamar at the 2016 Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB). Photo courtesy of Batiste Safont.

This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

In a unique appearance at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer ‘23 Show, rapper Kendrick Lamar was both a guest and a performer — all from his elite front row seat. 

K-Dot performed “N95” and “Savior” from his most recent album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” But, he only began after shouting out, “This one’s for Virgil” — dedicating his performance to the late Virgil Abloh who died in November of last year from an aggressive form of cancer. The rapper improvised some of the lyrics of both songs in dedication to the legendary designer who was a fixture in the hip-hop community. 

Virgil Abloh at Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019. Photo courtesy of Myles Kalus Anak Jihem.

A Chicago-native, Abloh was a trained architect with the support of friend — Kanye West rose through the fashion ranks to become the first Black man to lead LVMH as artistic director. Abloh also founded Off White — his signature line. His designs and creative vision influenced a number of rappers including Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and A$AP Rocky. . 

Rocking a platinum and diamond crown of thorns, K-Dot channeled his inner Christ consciousness as he performed from his premium seat next to his manager Dave Free, according to the report from TMZ

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The Grammy-winning rapper is preparing to head out on an ambitious world tour to support his “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” album which is, thus far, the biggest rap release of the year with a number one debut last month with 295,500 equivalent album units, according to Billboard

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