Kendrick Lamar Just Released the Video of the Year. Alright Is Truly EPIC (Video)

Remember when music videos were artistic statements that could immediately shift the cultural zeitgeist? Kendrick Lamar has released just such a tour de force in his epic visual for “Alright.” The nearly seven minute black and white short film is stunning both visually and in its symbolism.

The video starts with breathtaking shots of Oakland–the hills, kids skateboarding, buildings, police helicopters circling–narrated by Kendrick’s running monologue about the evils around him, featured throughout his album To Pimp a Butterfly. From there, it shifts into fellow Black Hippy members, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul accompanying Kendrick in a car as he launches into a performance of a previously unreleased song. After an abrupt ending, “Alright” kicks in and Kendrick is shown literally floating through the streets of Oakland, observing the happenings of the city.

As is the case with his music, Kendrick appears as part poet, part prophet, part participant and, ultimately, part martyr. Almost like a modern day Pied Piper, he throws money from a car window, leading children and the masses to a performance he delivers atop a streetlamp. In the end, he is taken down by a police gun shot…or is he? Check out the video.

Related: Kendrick Lamar Strikes Heartfelt Chords Performing A Symbolic “Alright” (Video)