Watch Kendrick Lamar morph into O.J., Kanye, Kobe, Nipsey Hussle in new video
Kendrick Lamar’s album rollout has begun.
The celebrated Compton rapper dropped a new song on Sunday, his first as a lead artist since 2018. “The Heart Part 5” arrives less than a week before the release of Lamar’s long-awaited new LP, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” which is due Friday; the single’s appearance recalls that of “The Heart Part 4,” a non-album cut that came out shortly before 2017’s “Damn.”
Built atop an interpolation of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You,” “The Heart Part 5” opens with Lamar, 34, announcing, “As I get a little older, I realize life is perspective.” The densely lyrical track goes on to ponder gang violence, mental health, religion and the murder of Nipsey Hussle, who was shot to death in 2019 outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles.
A very British novelty rap from a 2000 documentary was excavated, remixed and is now a viral smash on TikTok.
Hussle is one of several public figures Lamar morphs into using deepfake technology in the music video for “The Heart Part 5”; at various points he also resembles O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett and Kobe Bryant. On YouTube, where the video had racked up more than 5.5 million views by Monday morning, the deepfakes are credited to Deep Voodoo, a studio led by Trey Stone and Matt Parker of “South Park” fame.
Little is known about “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” which will come five years after the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Damn” and four years after Lamar’s Oscar-nominated soundtrack for 2018’s “Black Panther” movie. Last week the rapper — who’s taken to using the name Oklama online — posted a picture of two CDs, one marked “Morale” and the other “Steppers,” which led to speculation that the new LP is a double album.
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