- 09 May 22
Kendrick Lamar has announced his return with Mr. Morale & The Big-Steppers just last month, dropping his first single off the record, 'The Heart Part 5', the newest addition to the rapper’s "The Heart" series, along with a trippy music video - which has mysteriously disappeared.
Against a maroon backdrop, Kendrick Lamar raps as his face subtly morphs into a cast of real-life characters from Kanye West and Will Smith to Nipsey Hussle. 'The Heart Part 5' music video credits Deep Voodoo for its deep fake editing, the animation studio run by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
The new track is a mixture of latin zest and suspenseful, prodding bass, produced by Beach Noise with instrumental pieces from Kyle Miller and Bekon, laid out over a polished sample of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Want You.’ The video, directed by Dave Free and Lamar himself, opens with a phrase: “I am. All of us,” setting the scene for who the rapper becomes throughout the next few minutes.
“In the land where hurt people hurt more people fuck callin’ it culture,” Lamar – disguised as Smith – proclaims. He develops a pattern of trying on different faces to match his words, transforming into Ye when stating, “Friends bipolar, grab you by your pockets.” He pays tribute to two late Los Angeles icons, appearing as fallen Nipsey Hussle as he raps, “Should I feel resentful I didn’t see my full potential?” and as Kobe Bryant from the perspective of Heaven.
The video received over five million views in just under ten hours, before suddenly being unavailable to view on YouTube. Fans took to Twitter to react to the video's disappearance, with many questioning whether Lamar went too far with his impersonations. The video has yet to re-appear.
The rapper’s long-awaited fifth album was announced via Twitter in April with a link to his site, Oklama. Mr. Morale & The Big-Steppers will enter the world on Friday, May 13, as Lamar drops hints over the possibility of the new record being a double album. All of this comes ahead of his anticipated performance at this June’s Glastonbury festival.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) April 18, 2022
Lamar’s first single since 2018 challenges the contradictions of “the culture” that made him through the visages of the people that lead it. It sets everything out onto the table and then rips the cloth out from underneath, leaving a clean surface for Mr. Morale & The Big-Steppers and everything the rapper has yet to say.
‘The Heart pt. 5’ is available for listening on all streaming platforms, plus check out the music video directed by Dave Free and Kendrick Lamar – well, if it returns.