Perhaps one of the most widely recognized symbols of religious iconography (according to the New Testament, a crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus in the events leading up to his crucifixion), the crown is a metaphor for artistic prowess, humility and perseverance, according to the jeweler. For the rapper, it serves as a nod of respect to the artists who came before him.
The crown proved central to his powerful performance on the Pyramid Stage. Before his finale—a rendition of “Savior” from *Mr Morale & The Big Steppers—*Lamar told the crowd it was his favorite track from his new album, because it’s about “imperfection”. “Imperfection is beautiful,” he said, adding that he wears his crown of thorns as a reminder: “They judge you, they judge Christ.” Kendrick made those words a repeated refrain in the song, which ended with a statement of support for women shellshocked by the rollback of abortion rights in the US just days earlier. As blood appeared to trickle down his face from the thorns, the rapper repeated: “They judge you, they judge Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights!”
Designed over the course of 10 months, the headpiece features 8,000 cobblestone micro pavé diamonds totaling more than 137 carats, and weighs around 200g. It required more than 1,300 hours of work by four craftsman to handset the diamonds.