Kendrick Lamar has released the music video to his first single off his highly anticipated sophomore album. The song “i” is not the typical record you’d expect to hear from a rapper in 2014. The lyrical content does not rely on sexual experiences with women, popping bottles at the club, or stories of violence. In fact, the song, which samples The Isley Brother’s “That Lady,” is about self-love.
“These are my homies in the hood, if I say something this blatant, this bold. This simple. They can take reaction from that,” said Lamar during a recent interview with Hot 97’s Ebro and Peter Rosenberg. “They can lock your body, they can’t trap your mind. For my people outside, you have something to live for. It starts with yourself. “
For the video, Kendrick takes us through the streets of his hometown, Los Angeles. He strolls through neighborhoods filled with pain, bringing along a group that does a two-step move, imitating the 27-year-old lyricist. He even pays homage with an appearance from Ron Isley, who watches Kendrick Lamar as he dances along.
If we know anything about this next album, we know that Kendrick is not holding anything back. He’s more than willing to take necessary risks to help hip-hop progress, while staying true to its cultural roots.