Earlier this year, rap fans around the world were extremely excited when Kendrick Lamar announced that he was returning with a brand new album. Titled Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, the latest Kendrick Lamar record is due to be released in a few days, with previous reports indicating that the release date was May 13th.
Now, Lamar has released a new music video for ‘The Heart Part 5’, which is his first solo song in four years. The song is Lamar’s lead single for the upcoming album and it has already piqued the interest of many fans due to its unique visual narrative as well as Lamar’s hard-hitting lyricism which reinforces the claim that he is one of the greatest songwriters of our time.
The new video utilised deepfake technology to complement Lamar’s poetic lyrics, featuring deepfakes of Kanye West, OJ Simpson, Kobe Bryant, Will Smith and many more. Although deepfakes are mostly popular for their use in memes and other activities like propaganda and pornography, Lamar has shown how it can be used to create powerful art.
Lamar’s incorporation of deepfakes also coincides with his commentary, most notably the Kanye West deepfake segment in which the rapper states: “Friends bipolar, grab you by your pockets / No option if you froze up, always play the offense” which addresses West’s medical diagnosis which states he has bipolar disorder and it takes on added meaning in view of his feud against Pete Davidson.
The opening clip of the video begins with the statement: “I am. All of us.” Since Lamar goes on to morph into infamous men such as OJ Simpson, Will Smith and Jussie Smollett, the video transforms into a rich collection of contradictory subjectivities as Lamar attempts to depict unsettling portraits of deeply problematic cultural icons.
Watch the video below.