Kendrick Lamar dropped the official music video for his new single, “The Heart Part 5,” on Mother’s Day. After four years of silence, fans finally got their wish for new music from the talented lyricist — and he didn’t disappoint.
The video starts off with a visibly anxious Lamar who shares with the audience that as he’s grown older and he’s come to realize that “life is perspective” which may vary from person to person.
He picks up speed as he starts to deliver an emotionally-charged critical analysis of the idea of culture. He highlights several themes that can be found in the inner city, from violence to financial instability.
He continues rapping over a sample of Marvin Gaye’s hit song “I Want You” before morphing into former professional football player OJ Simpson. He continues rapping, moving on to several other controversial Black artists like Kanye West and famed Empire actor Jussie Smollett. He finishes the verse as superstar actor Will Smith, as he recites the line “in a land where hurt people, hurt people, f**k calling it culture.”
If that wasn’t enough, he continues onto the second and third verses, morphing into late talents like NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and finally beloved rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle. The change in verses marks a change in his lyrics, which move from tragedy to triumph.
The impressive music video has prompted several conversations online. Many fans praise poignant message that Kendrick makes surrounding trauma and culture, while others applaud the carousel of powerful Black celebrities that he spotlights.
The eye-catching music video is just one of many where he tells a story using expertly crafted visuals. Here are five other visually striking Kendrick Lamar music videos to watch: