Let's Break Down the Awfulness of Kendrick Lamar's New Video
[Editor's Note: Shea Serrano sometimes writes about Why This Song Sucks, and sometimes about his hilarious and poignant life and times. Better put your shoes on because your socks are about to be blown off.]
Last year, Kendrick Lamar released good kid, m.A.A.d. city, his gorgeous proper debut album and the best rap project of the year. Late Monday, he released the video for "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe," the most soundly executed track on gkmc.
You can see it below, and you will see that it possesses nearly the exact opposite characteristics that make his lyrics so vital. It is unfortunate. Let's walk through it.
0:04: An adorable little girl playing in the pews of a church. That's probably a good sign. Kids in music videos is mostly an entertaining thing. The best moment: That OH MY GOD tiny white girl from Missy Elliot's "Work It" video with the pigtails. The worst moment though: In The Cranberries' "Zombie" video, where they thought it'd be a good idea to paint all of those little boys gold and then dress them like Jesus right before he was crucified.
0:06: Just to be clear: It's not a good idea to paint little boys gold and then dress them like Jesus right before he was crucified.
0:15-16: Quick once over camera pan going from Jesus to Kendrick. Not subtle. This might unravel quickly.
0:32: Kendrick sitting in the back of the church. Looks like he's at a funeral. Calling it now: 2:1 at the end of the video Kendrick is going to look inside the casket and see himself. That shit is definitely happening here.
0:39: Kendrick all alone (he's definitely a ghost). He's dressed in all white. He's standing in a field. And a camera is panning across the scene from the sky. That's, like, three DO NOT DOs packed into one shot.
0:40: Related: THE REALEST RAP SCENE EVER FILMED IN A FIELD: That part from The Sound of Music where Julie Andrews sings "This Hills Are Alive."
0:40:5: Oh snap. How ill would it have been if the universe confused Andrews singing with "The Hills Are Alive" with that movie The Hills Have Eyes? That movie is SO gross.
0:41: Times it's acceptable to wear all white:
1. When you're a bad guy in Grand Theft Auto
2. When it's after Memorial Day and you're at Diddy's Hamptons pad
3. That's it
0:45: Kendrick rapping in that field. Hope they cut back to the other scene so we can confirm that he is (a) at a funeral, and eventually (b) he's a ghost.
1:15: Yep. He's at a funeral. One down, one to go.
1:23: That thing about everything being cooler in slow motion: not totally true.
1:37: Hmm, women walking into the funeral late, looking just a little too happy to be there. This is probably something. Are they angels?
1:39: Oh, never mind. One of the women that just showed up has half of her head shaved and has those stripes shaved in. Definitely not an angel. God for certain wouldn't cosign that shit. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's in the Bible not to do that? (It's probably in the Book of Cassie, would be my guess, if you're gonna go look for it.)
1:42: HEY, WHAT HAPPENED TO CASSIE THOUGH?? Diddy whiffed on that one.
1:59: Church scene over. Still no confirmation that Kendrick is a ghost. Maybe it's something bigger?
2:00: Sad moments in a hearse for Kendrick. I suppose that's better than sad moments in a horse.
2:08: Just a tiny bit about the actual song: Kendrick's robot-y voice is pretty much perfect during the chorus of this ---
WTF JUST HAPPENED? WHY IS EVERYONE PARTY TIME-ING IT UP IN THE HEARSE/LIMO? DID I MISS SOMETHING? HOLD ON A BIT, I NEED TO GO BACK AND REWATCH THESE LAST FEW SECONDS.
Nope. they're just partying after the funeral.
Wait. WAIT. So did they maybe murder whoever it was that was in the casket? Ooh, what if it was one of the guys from skits from Kendrick's album? Is it all going to get pulled together? This could be something. What's Kendrick's Twitter? We need answers.
2:25: Kendrick contemplating in the field again. I am SO spun around right now.
2:35: Sad in the hearse again. I don't even know.
2:39: Song break: Mike Epps just baptized Kendrick Lamar. Mike Epps just baptized Kendrick Lamar? WTF is going on.
2:49: A very clever, almost unperceivable little bit of product placement. Peruse that screenshot below. Bet you can't guess what they're advertising here.