Kendrick Lamar Shows Other Rappers Just Aren’t Cutting The Mustard, In His New Video
Last week, Kendrick Lamar set the digital world on fire when he deleted all of the photos on his Instagram account and replaced them with an image simply bearing the Roman numeral IV. The picture created wide-spread speculation that it was in reference to the imminent of arrival of his fourth studio album, and that still may be the case as a double entendre, but the more direct meaning related to the release of part 4 of his “The Heart” freestyle series. When the song arrived later that night (March 23), it created another maelstrom with its fiery lyrics aimed at an unidentified MC, thought to be Big Sean, Drake or both, and its warning that MCs had until April 7 to get their sh*t together.
Most, including Ambrosia For Heads, took the April 7 date to be the announcement for the release of Kendrick’s latest album, and his first since 2015’s acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, excluding the outtakes from that LP that were released as untitled.unmastered. last year. The album would come just in time for Kendrick’s run as a headliner at this year’s Coachella festival, and may set him up for an even wider tour following the event. Also, Kendrick began teasing the fact that he was working on new material, both late last year in a conversation with Rick Rubin, and earlier this month in an interview with The New York Times’ T Magazine.
Now, it appears even more likely that Kendrick’s fourth album is, indeed, on the way on April 7, as he has released the video for “Humble,” likely his first single from the project. The song is produced by Mike Will Made It and it is a significant departure from the sounds emanating from Kendrick’s last album. The video, directed by Dave Meyers and The Little Homies (Kendrick & TDE President Dave Free), is likely to spark controversy on a number of levels. It opens with Kendrick in an outfit reminiscent of something that would be worn by the pope. At other points, he is shown lying on a bed of money, golfing atop a car in the aqueducts of Los Angeles, and seated at a table that is strikingly similar to that depicted in portraits of The Last Supper and, of course, he is seated in the middle. The line that is likely to draw the most attention, however, is where Kendrick says “I’m so f*cking sick and tired of the photoshop/Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor.” The bars are delivered as a woman bearing a resemblance to Nicki Minaj graces the screen.
Prior to the release of “Humble,” there has been speculation that Kendrick’s next project would be more radio-friendly and tailored toward the sounds of today. If this is any indication, that seems to be the case. While Drake has said he could steal a certain MC’s fans if he were to be more conscious, it appears Kendrick may be asserting his place on the mainstream stage. He says he’s “Grey Poupon,” and it’s clear he does not think current rappers are cutting the mustard.