Kendrick Lamar unveiled the cover of his new album Morale and big steps. The cover shows Lamar with his partner and two children, a rare sighting as the prolific rapper keeps details of his personal life private. Additionally, Lamar was recently seen in Ghana. Its cover art release comes amid critical acclaim for its new music video. On Sunday, May 9, Lamar released the visual for his single “The Heart Part 5”. Lamar directed the video alongside Dave Fee. this is his first outing in five years.
Throughout the video, Lamar transforms into the face of several public and sometimes controversial figures, using deepfake technology. Deepfake uses a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to create images of fake events. In the video, he transforms into OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West aka Ye, and Hussle. The song contains lyrics about racism and social issues.
Mr. Morale and Big Steps pic.twitter.com/tLcJDyNxVe
—Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) May 11, 2022
The 5-minute music video begins by opening to a black title screen with a white statement that reads, “I am. We all. -oklama.” It was an instant hit, amassing 9 million views within 24 hours.
The most talked about part of the song features Lamar rapping as Hussle from Heaven in the final verse. Hussle’s longtime partner Lauren London gave the video her thumbs up in an Instagram story, writing, “Powerful Art.”
For the release of the album, it is critically acclaimed. A review from The Guardian noted: “Lamar’s lyrical skill is prodigious enough to spin captivating rhymes from much-worn subject matter: the fake news, the projection of fake lifestyles via social media, the pressures of fame. But most notable is still his willingness to take risks.” The publication gave the album five stars.
He is hailed as one of the most influential rappers of his generation and has been releasing music since 2003. Lamar is originally from Compton, California, and although his music has West Coast influences, he fuses many elements hip-hop.