Kendrick Lamar has released the second official video from his new album DAMN. The visuals for DNA. are the first since the album came out, following on from HUMBLE., which preceded the album by two weeks.
The clip was directed by Nabil and The Little Homies, which is Dave Free and Kendrick himself.
The clip begins with Kendrick about to receive a lie detector test, applied by none other than actor Don Cheadle. But before he can get that far, Geraldo Rivera’s Fox News comment about how hip-hop damaging black youth is heard overhead, and Cheadle appears to be shocked by the machine itself. As the song begins, Kendrick sits in silence while Cheadle gets up and raps the first verse at him. By verse two, the pair are both animated and lyrically sparring.
He’s got loyalty and royalty inside his DNA, but to whom? Kendrick leaves the scene and goes out to the street, where his gang are waiting for him. We see him gambling, we see a Thugz Mansion portrait of Snoop Dogg and Tupac sitting atop all of Lamar’s Grammy awards, we see him hounded by paparazzi. We also see him lying in a coffin, and holding a small child. All the while, a group of screaming women are in a car, driving dangerously fast. ScHoolboy Q make a cameo at the end, lighting a cigarette before walking up and punching the camera.
Phwoar. It’s less symbolic, but there’s just as much to unpack here as HUMBLE.