Kendrick Lamar was selected as the headlining act for this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and the Pulitzer-prize-winning rapper performed a number of his well-known hits like “Humble” and “Alright.” But throughout the night, one particular prop featured prominently atop Lamar’s head: a diamond-encrusted crown of thorns similar to the one he wears on the cover of his newest album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.
As a matter of fact, the lyricist’s head appeared to bleed midway through his set. And as Lamar closed the show with “Savior” (which he told the crowd was his favorite song from MMBS), he uttered a chant in protest of last week’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
“They judge you, they judge Christ!” Lamar said again and again. “Godspeed for women’s rights!”
The crown on his head that night was the result of a 10-month collaboration between Lamar, Lamar’s longtime creative partner Dave Free, and jeweler Tiffany & Co. “The crown is a godly representation of hood philosophies told from a digestible youthful lens,” Free shared in an exclusive feature with Vogue.
Lamar’s bejeweled crown actually made its first showing a few days earlier at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring/Summer 2023 Show. Four craftsmen reportedly needed more than 1300 hours (which is just over 54 days) to set the “8,000 cobblestone micro pavé diamonds totaling more than 137 carats” by hand.
According to the critically acclaimed rapper, the crown is worth more than $3 million.
“Kendrick Lamar represents the artistry, risk-taking creativity, and relentless innovation that has also defined Tiffany & Co. for nearly two centuries,” says Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president, product and communication, Tiffany & Co. “We are proud and incredibly excited to work with a visionary like Kendrick in realizing his vision for the crown.”
A number of Christians and fans of Tiffany & Co. have taken to social media and voiced their disgust with the collaboration, though.
“So offensive and messed up. I’m really disappointed in this company. He’s not Jesus,” wrote one individual.
And another commenter felt offended by it despite claiming no religious affiliation.
“[T]he disrespect shadows the craftsmanship of this piece,” they said. But Kendrick Lamar has not made any statements yet walking back his decision. The 35-year-old artist has always been vocal about his own devout Christian faith, and this latest call may have been his most public and controversial display so far. As he told the audience during his Glastonbury set, “I wear this [crown] as a representation, so you’ll never forget one of the greatest prophets to ever walk the Earth… we gon’ continue to try our best to walk in his image.”