Kendrick Lamar Releases Empowering Lyric Video

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Yesterday, Compton-bred rapper Kendrick Lamar released a much-anticipated video to accompany his latest single, “i,” off of his upcoming album that will hopefully be released “before 2015,” according to an interview he gave Carson Daly on 97.1 AM. Lamar released the single via Soundcloud last month, and has been generating lots of buzz over the details of his latest body of work. Recently, in an interview with MTV News, his producer, Rahki, described the album as “simply incredible.”

Despite the somewhat grandiose expectations being generated around the album, Lamar kept the latest video release quite modest, and more importantly, positive. In preservation of the religious motifs strewn generously throughout his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, the lyric video opens to a white wall with the words “Jesus is Lord, and He loves you” written across it in bold lettering as the track begins. The video then transitions to clips of people from all walks of life forming their hands into hearts and smiling warmly into the camera, as the empowering lyrics are displayed at the bottom of the screen.

The video features everyone from the average worker to the small business owner. Skater crews and small families are also shown bonding. Gang members who would normally oppose one another — a topic he delves into thoroughly in his first album — are shown grinning and making peace with one another. And occasionally, close-up shots of Lamar writing out specific lyrics, as if in a diary, are displayed.

The video manages to consistently focus on everyday people, despite the lyrics “I love myself” that Lamar chants throughout. In fact, it barely features the rapper himself. The few times that it does, it is footage from a live performance he gave recently in Toronto at an educational event for youth. This event was the first time he’d ever performed the song, and that seems to make the video even more intimate.

Director Christian San Jose managed to relay Lamar’s message, and the video concludes with the single’s official artwork, depicting the heart-shaped hand symbol that everyone featured in it has held up. Unfortunately, Kendrick has yet to release a statement about the new release.