Why not just say it outright: There hasn’t been a music video this good (or gorgeous or frenetic) since “Formation.” While we wait for Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited fourth album, he’s dropped an early contender for 2017’s best music video. (Sorry, Migos — try taking our advice to get back in the running.) “Humble” is full of holy references, oddball irreverence, and lush interiors. For the record: It also helps that Kendrick’s bars are hard in “Humble,” an ode to stretch marks and staying in one’s lane. Here’s a GIF-by-GIF breakdown of the music video Kendrick will have us talking about all year.
Kendrick’s first look serves a real Young Pope vibe. Even if Lenny wouldn’t be pleased, he should be flattered. Free advice for HBO: Add a white beanie to Lenny’s collection of impressive hats.
“D’usse with my boo bae, tastes like Kool-Aid for the analysts/Girl, I can buy yo’ ass the world with my paystub.”
Kendrick, bruh, this verse isn’t finished yet, where are you going?
Kdot trades one holy place (the church) for an even holier one: the black hair salon. Go ahead, grab your coconut oil and deep condition those 4C coils.
In “Formation,” Beyoncé sank a cop car with her body. “Humble” mirrors that imagery, with a little more humor: Kdot’s swinging golf balls off a deserted whip.
Kendrick Lamar, a man among men: “Soprano C, we like to keep it on a high note/ It’s levels to it, you and I know, bitch, be humble.”
Last Supper imagery is a frequent reference in rap videos, but “Humble” does it best.
For the record, this white sweatshirt says Dreamer.
“I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop,” Kendrick preaches. “Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor.”
Ok, so his logic is a little “woman, thou art loosed” — there are a myriad of social and political connotations surrounding black women’s hair, and choosing a lace front over natural coils doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s black identity. Still, Kendrick counts himself as a proud admirer of stretch marks.
Look at Kendrick Lamar wearing this turtleneck. To borrow a phrase, “this is not a joke” — Kendrick Lamar stands in front of us in the most fire look of 2017. That black turtleneck and those round frames? My man said “let’s give them some intellectualism straight from the block.”
Here’s an image of a little thing called solidarity:
Kendrick has invested a lot of time in crafting images showing the threat of police bullets, and “Humble” shows him in the Establishment’s laser crosshairs.
Back to the hair salon, where Kendrick uses hair art to preach humility.