Kendrick Lamar’s video for “The Heart Part 5,” his first song in four years, is generating quite a stir.
The new song was released on Sunday, accompanied by a five-minute music video in which the hip-hop star deepfakes some prominent Black men while criticizing modern cultural concepts.
The video for “The Heart Part 5”, directed by Dave Free and Lamar himself, begins simple enough. The phrases: “Yes, I am. “All of us,” attributed to “oklama” “(presumably Lamar’s alter ego), are portrayed against a dark background.
The background turns to maroon, and Lamar begins rapping somewhat off-camera: “As I get older, I learn that life is all about perspective. And my viewpoint may differ from yours.”
Lamar appears to transform into shamed former NFL star OJ Simpson, rapper Kanye West, controversial “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and Hollywood star Will Smith, as well as late NBA star Kobe Bryant and assassinated rapper Nipsey Hussle.
The return song, which appears to sample Marvin Gaye’s 1976 classic “I Want You,” concludes the second half of the third verse with numerous words from the perspective of Grammy-nominated Hussle, who was murdered on March 31, 2019.
Lamar raps the following lines: “Feel my presence as I bleed through the speakers. I’m in Heaven, my brother and children. I’m in Heaven, my mother and sister. This is Heaven, I swear to my father and wife. Make sure you count your blessings, my friends. Make sure you make investments in my fans. And to the assassin who hastened my fate. I forgive you, but just understand that your soul is in jeopardy.”
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of “South Park,” are given “special thanks” in the video’s credits, as is their Deep Voodoo deepfake company.
“The Heart Part 5” arrives ahead of the Friday release of Lamar’s highly anticipated fifth album, “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.” The album will be the rappers first major project since his 2017 ly acclaimed album “Damn,” which debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200 and made history as the first rap album to receive a Pulitzer Prize.