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In 2012, the world was introduced to Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar thanks to the widespread popularity of his second studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city. Featuring the singles “Swimming Pool (Drank),” “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Poetic Justice” with Drake, the album went on to earn four Grammy nominations and cemented Lamar as one of the biggest rising stars in music.
In 2015, Kendrick Lamar again struck gold by releasing his third studio album To Pimp A Butterfly. The album went on to sit comfortably at the top of ever ‘Best of’ album list that year and took home a Grammy for Best Rap Album of the Year.
Only one year later, Lamar was back with a new batch of fully fleshed out songs with his mixtape untitled unmastered. The California native is showing no signs of slowing down, with last week’s surprise single “The Heart Part Four” letting the competition know, “Y’all got till April the 7th to get y’all shit together” (listen here).
Only one week later, Lamar is back again with a new track, this time upping the ante once more by pairing the single with one of the best music videos we’ve seen from the groundbreaking artist.
“Humble” is directed by Dave Meyers, whose credits include Katy Perry’s “Fireworks,” Pink’s “Just Like Fire,” Missy Elliott’s “Where They From,” and the genre-defying “Bombs Over Baghdad” by Outkast. Meyers shot the video along with Little Homies, a duo made up of Kendrick and Dave Free, with the two having previously worked on videos for Lance Skiiiwalker, Schoolboy Q, and Lamar’s own videos.
The video is comprised of cinematic crowd shots, including Lamar performing among a group of men in black shirts, as well as exciting camera angles and transitions. With elements reminiscent of Kanye West’s religious-inspired “Jesus Walks,” “Humble” opens with Kendrick standing in a church wearing a priest’s robe, recreating The Last Supper, and later performing among a line of men whose heads are engulfed in flames. Money and greed remain the top theme throughout the video, which also touches on our Photoshop-heavy culture.
Lamar is set to headline Coachella next month alongside Radiohead and Lady Gaga, who is stepping in for a very pregnant Beyoncé. While fans may be discouraged that a possible performance between Bey and Kendrick for their Lemonade track “Freedom” is now a definite ‘no,’ having new album material to perform should help dissolve any disappointment. Judging by the first two singles, 2017 will again be the year of Kendrick.
Click here to watch Kendrick Lamar’s new music video for “Humble.”