Arts, Music

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” Plays Down Glaring Flaws

Irreverence is the clear intention of Kendrick Lamar’s music video for “Humble.” Is it the gratifying kind of irreverence that instills a sense of delicious rebellion against norms, the kind of blasphemy we crave and revel in? No, it isn’t. And that’s only preface for the many issues with Lamar’s latest creation.

With its single and music video release both on March 30, “Humble” stands as the chief song promoting Lamar’s next untitled project.

The video opens with single stream of light focused on Kendrick Lamar, a figure clad in pope-like garb against a shadowy backdrop. The scratch of a record inaugurates the beat drop into the song, with Lamar delivering his vehement first lines with an abrupt crack of the neck that resembles an exorcism.

The rest of the mini film reflects this abnormality. Flashes of essentially-naked women counting money and then sitting in a salon surrounding Lamar counter the random scenarios in which he stands among men with flaming heads and atop a car swinging at golf balls. The peculiarity culminates in its obvious allusion to the Last Supper, equipped with Lamar as the rapper-turned-savior.

For the most part, the various clips of Lamar are alluring within themselves, but they fail to string together coherently and have no true place in the narrative of the song. The transitions between clips include a constantly panning camera to capture shifting perspectives, but this tactic results simply in a headache rather than any real innovation.

Lamar’s execution of “Humble” indicates his need to follow the principle of his own lyrics—to quit reaching for visual artistry his music cannot command and be humble.

Featured Image by Top Dog Entertainment

April 5, 2017