All hail King Kunta! 2017 is the year of Kendrick Lamar and if the last two weeks are anything to go by, well this is going to be a f^#*ng phenomenal year.
If you didn’t see your Facebook feed go absolutely nuts a few days ago with the release of his latest track and video to ‘Humble’, you’re living under a rock. Here is an artist who knows how to blend lyrical and visual imagery to perfection, and reflect the state of the world in one word.
To be humble is almost a forgotten concept in the 21st century. Yes, this is a generalisation, but with the likes of social media saturating our lives, and seeing a targeted perception of people’s lifestyles, it should come as no shock that this track boasts the notion to keep it real.
With a killer beat produced by none other than Mike WiLL Made-It, and a video directed by Dave Meyers and the little homies we see an array of powerful imagery at the forefront. The opening frame shows Lamar as a priest, then taking part in a last supper. The focus then shifts to a mob of bald-headed black men with Lamar in the centre in a chant-like chorus, then moving to a select number of black men who have burning ropes covering their heads. Full on to say the least! But the moment you see Lamar targeted by gun lasers in what seems to be a home, you’ll have shivers down your spine. These scenes are rather confronting and chilling, but the reactionary impact is clearly laid out as a reflection of what is really going on in the black community in 2017.
My favourite part of the song and video, however, has to be when he talks about the terrors of Photoshop.
“I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks”
While this has sparked some bouts of feminist outrage, I really don’t think that is the point! I too, as a woman, am sick of seeing women Photoshopped in unrealistic and unachievable ways, so if this can spark a conversation on how we can find natural beauty again, then I’m all for it!
King Kunta, you’re currently in the lead to win 2017. Keep it comin’ baby!!
author: Kara Bertoncini