Kendrick Lamar recently returned to his hometown of Compton, California, where he made an arty video of himself connecting with kids, announcing himself to the world and explaining the worldview that made him. “The moment I defined myself and freed myself was the time I locked myself in the studio and said, ‘You need to do music,'” he told the camera at one point.
Throughout the clip, directed by Anthony Mandler (Lana Del Rey’s Tropico), he visits a favorite hangout, Tam’s Burger, a walkway that he traveled as a teen to get to school. “It was really about getting to that success level where you can go back to your neighborhood where the people feel like, you know, they look up to you,” he said in the video. “Sometimes the most riskiest things you can do can end up being the most important.”
He also performed a previously unreleased verse, “Kendrick Lamar – I Am,” throughout the clip. “I stand for what I believe in, that’s family, God and honor,” he says in the verse. “From Chicago my daddy and my momma came to Compton to accomplish one thing/Reign supreme, raise a king named Kendrick.”
Lamar made the video in association with Reebok, with whom he has recently partnered. He’ll be releasing a shoe called the Ventilator OG, seen in the video, on January 15th. The rapper, who began wearing Reeboks in seventh grade, will also make his own limited-edition collection for fall/winter 2015. Another shoe, inspired by Lamar’s life, will be available in June. “My style is simple, but with an edge – and it’s as classic as that,” he said in a statement.
In other Lamar news, Hot New Hip Hop reports that the rapper contributed a verse to “25,” a track by TDE president Terrence “Punch” Henderson.
Earlier this year, Lamar released a new, positivity-themed single and video, “i,” from his upcoming full-length. In September, he told Rolling Stone that his fans should expect “aggression and emotion” on the LP, which will follow up 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. “There’s one particular [untitled] track I’m really excited about,” he said. “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.”