While we await word on whether Kendrick Lamar will release a new album this year, the Compton rapper has shared the lyric video for “i,” the uplifting first single from that much-anticipated LP. Christian San Jose directed the lyric video for the track, which rides along on a sample from the Isley Brothers’ 1973 soul hit “That Lady.” The video shows dozens of people making that two-handed heart symbol that is featured prominently on the “i” artwork punctuated with footage of Lamar performing onstage.
The real star of the video though is the lyrics: If the rapper’s rapid-fire pace made it difficult to keep up with striking imagery and impressive rhymes, this video puts the spotlight back on Lamar’s words. “Dreams of reality’s peace / Blow steam in the face of the beast / The sky could fall down, the wind could cry now / The strong in me, I still smile,” Lamar raps on the track before closing out “i” with the coda, “I lost my head / I must misread what the good book said / Oh woes be me / It’s a jungle inside / Give myself again till the well runs dry.”
While the Compton rapper works on a follow-up to his 2012 breakthrough LP good kid, m.A.A.d city that may or may not be completed in time for a 2014 release, Lamar has recently found time to collaborate with Flying Lotus on the You’re Dead! track “Never Catch Me” and make a surprise appearance at a Prince concert to perform the rare cut “What’s My Name.” When Lamar’s new album does arrive, the rapper promises “aggression and emotion” to go along with production from Dr. Dre and Digi+Phonics.