Kendrick Lamar morphs into celebrities including Will Smith and Kanye West in his new music video.
In the promo for The Heart Part 5, the Alright hitmaker begins by rapping in front of a maroon backdrop while looking slightly off-camera, and over the course of the five-minute video, deepfake technology is used to make it look like a different celebrity is rapping instead.
He first evolves into O.J. Simpson before taking on the appearance of West, Smith and Jussie Smollett – all of whom have been in the headlines for problematic behaviour. West has been accused of harassing his ex-wife Kim Kardashian on social media, Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, and Smollett briefly went to prison for staging a hate crime against himself.
The transformations seem to correlate with the lyrics. For example, there’s mention of bipolar disorder when the West deepfake appears and Smith’s face is on screen as Lamar raps “in the land where hurt people hurt more people”.
Lamar also pays tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle and basketball player Kobe Bryant. When Hussle appears, the lyrics seem to shift to his perspective, as Lamar says, “But didn’t change me starin’ down the barrel of that gun/Should I feel resentful I didn’t see my full potential?” and “To the killer that sped up my demise/I forgive you, just know your soul’s in question”.
Hussle was fatally shot outside his Los Angeles store in 2019, aged 33.
Lamar’s The Heart series has been ongoing since 2010 and the instalments always precede a full-length release. His fifth album, Mr. Morale And The Big Steppers, is set to be released on Friday.