Everything Kendrick Lamar has executed thus far has led to critical thinking — feeling overwhelmed and comfort all at the same time — so we didn’t expect anything else from the latest music video off sophomore studio album To Pimp a Butterfly. The ‘Alright’ video showcases the fragments of the life and struggles of a young African American; the same ones that Kendrick endured, which persuaded him to open Lucifer’s care package. A narration by Kendrick two minutes into the video explains his realisation of the new obstacle he had to overcome (“While my loved ones were fighting a continuous war in the city, I was entering a new one, a war that was based on apartheid and discrimination,”) that then leads to a scene of a policeman shooting a civilian — police brutality and racism will be a major theme in American music videos, especially hip hop, for the next couple of months. Get yourself ready.
But despite the monochrome colour palette, ‘Alright’ isn’t all bleak — Kendrick later shares his money with the community, dances with them, and has a good time before flying through the city like a superhero and landing on a lamppost only to be shot by a police officer. The video ends with him reciting the poem that he reads in full on ‘Mortal Man’ while falling to the ground, but he smiles in the end, letting viewers know that he’s alright (see, not so bleak).
Watch the video below:
Written for JUICEOnline.