Kendrick Lamar eerily transforms into Jussie Smollett in comeback music video
Kendrick Lamar transforms into Jussie Smollett, OJ Simpson, Kanye West and more using a series of deepfakes in his new music video for “The Heart Part 5”.
The Putlizer Prize-winning rapper dropped his first new music in four years on Monday (9 May): “The Heart Part 5”, which comes ahead of his fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.
The music video sees Kendrick Lamar morph into OJ Simpson, Kanye West, late basketballer Kobe Bryant and murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed in 2019, devastating the hip-hop community.
Lamar also transforms into former Empire actor Jussie Smollett – who was convicted for faking a racist and homophobic hate crime against himself – while rapping about playing the victim.
“That’s the culture, point the finger, promote ya,” he says.
He remains as Smollett while discussing Hussle’s murder and the impact it had on him.
Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in prison after a court found he paid two men to stage a hate attack against him.
During his sentencing, judge Hames Linn called Smollett “shameful”, and claimed he staged the crime because he “craved the attention”.
Smollett was released after six days pending an appeal, and continues to plead innocence.
The video, directed by Lamar and Dave Free, is part of his ongoing The Heart series, which often precede his full-length projects; parts one and two of the series were released in 2010, part three was released in 2012 and part four was released in 2017.
Kendrick Lamar’s new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers will be his first in five years.
It comes after he won a Pulitzer Prize for music for his last album, Damn, which the prize described as “capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
Lamar, 34, previously spoke to Baby Keem for i-D about why it takes him “so long” to create between album releases.
“I get it, that’s what will take me so long to do albums,” he said, when Baby Keem mentioned wanting to “play with my sounds” before a new release.
Lamar added: “I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m going to execute a new sound, I can’t do the same thing over and over.
“I need something to get me excited. I see you get frustrated sometimes because you want some new s***.”
He added: “I remember when I came out on my first album, people thought it was overnight, but it was years on top of years doing it. And that dedication counts man, that’s the fire part about it.”
Lamar’s new album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is set to be released on Friday (13 May).
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