Kendrick Lamar takes the life-loving affirmation of his latest single, “i,” to the streets in the track’s new video, directed by Alexandre Moors and the Little Homies. The clip opens inside a dark club filled with revelers grooving to lurching synths, but after a fight breaks out, the peppy acoustic production of “i” kicks in and Lamar leads the crowd in a new kind of dance.
The rapper takes the party outside and, Pied Piper-style, takes them on a tour of South Central, Los Angeles where they’re able to spread love through scenes of poverty, unfair police tactics, domestic unrest and even an attempted suicide. Lamar then spits “i”‘s rapid fire final verse while hanging out of the window of a speeding car before eventually ending up back at the club, now closing down, where he relaxes as a woman braids his hair.
Lamar recently spoke about “i” in an interview with Hot 97, saying, “I wrote a record for the homies that’s in the penitentiary right now, and I also wrote a record for these kids that come up to my shows with these slashes on they wrists, saying they don’t want to live no more.”
The track is the first from Lamar’s highly anticipated new album, which the rapper says he’s still working on. Lamar did, however, offer a few more details, saying he’s recorded a number of songs with Dr. Dre and Pharrell, as well as his go-to producers Sounwave, Rakhi, Tae Beast and Thundercat.
While there’s no word on when the follow up to 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city will drop, Lamar told Rolling Stone back in September that fans can expect a lot of “aggression and emotion” from the album. “There’s one particular [as-yet-untitled] track I’m really excited about,” he teased. “It’s one where I just went in the booth and spilled out what I want to say at that moment. I just freestyled, because I really just wanted to grab the raw emotion of it.”