Watch Kendrick Lamar shapeshift into Kanye West, Will Smith, and more in new music video
Four years after winning the Pulitzer Prize, rapper Kendrick Lamar is finally back with a new album. Ahead of the release of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers this week, Lamar dropped the project's first music video on Sunday night — and it features him borrowing the faces of other Black American icons.
"The Heart Part 5" is a nonstop master class in rapping, the kind that fans have come to expect from Lamar. The rapper has also proved creative with music videos in the past — 2015's black-and-white "Alright" video featured Lamar levitating and dancing in the air above images of police violence, while "For Free?" from the same album brought him together with a practical multiverse of parallel selves before that was cool — but the concept of "The Heart Part 5" is more focused. As he raps over the course of the video, Lamar's face shapeshifts into the visages of other Black icons — many of them embattled at that.
Early on, Lamar takes on the look of O.J. Simpson — a controversial celebrity if ever there was one. From there he shifts into Kanye West (currently engrossed in an ugly public battle with ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her new boyfriend Pete Davidson), Jussie Smollett (recently convicted of disorderly conduct for faking a hate crime), and Will Smith (now banned from the Oscars ceremony for 10 years following his slap of Chris Rock), among others.
See what other faces you can catch in "The Heart Part 5" video above.