Following an epic opening performance at the 2015 BET Awards, Kendrick Lamar premieres his brand new video for “Alright.”
The underlying themes of Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly revolve around Black radicalism, pride and spirituality, and is largely backed by some of the jazziest G-Funk instrumentals this side of Parliament. Yet, perhaps of all of the songs on K. Dot’s third album, behind “King Kunta,” it is the Pharrell-produced “Alright” that, similar to its riot-causing predecessor “m.A.A.d city,” that has become a cult favorite for fans.
Originally slated for Fabolous (who could be responsible for the song’s catchy hook), Kendrick and Pharrell followed up their paranoia-inducing “good kid” with a 180-turning, slam dance-inspiring anthem of positivity. Naturally, the video for the single is a visual treatment of the song: Kendrick is either crowd-surfing or – perhaps paying homage to Ludacris’ clip for “Southern Hospitality,” also produced by Pharrell (and Chad Hugo, as The Neptunes) – hanging upside down, suspended above everybody else, in the video.
Shot in Oakland, California, watch Kendrick’s incredible new video below. The director, Collin Tiley, also sat down with MTV to .
The director, Colin Tilley, sat down with MTV to offer the inside scoop behind the video’s creation. Check out a choice quote below – which reveals the song playing in the car with Black Hippy was recorded specifically for the video – and check out the full interview here.
What were the details that Kendrick specifically tried to fine-tune on this one?
Well, you know what’s crazy? The intro where Kendrick, Schoolboy, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock are all in the car and we make that big reveal where the cops are holding up the car. We were talking about this specific image with everything that’s going on right now with the police and we kind of got to that point where we were sitting down with each other and we were talking about this big reveal with Kendrick and the guys being held up by cops like a carriage or something.
But the crazy part is, when we’re sitting there, all of a sudden, Kendrick was like, “Hold on, man. I’m totally hearing something completely different for this right now.” He’s like, “I’m gonna write this song and we’ll send it to you tonight. But we’ll do this song as a segment before the video even starts.” So, they sent me the song like two days later and we continued to build on it.
Once you get an image that strong, everything builds from there. It was like these vignettes that we created in the intro that explain the m.A.A.d. city. It’s not in your face like, “F—k this. F—k that.” It’s more like, this is what’s real and what’s going on in the world right now.
It was taken from all the energy. It wasn’t one specific thing. It was kind of all the energy that’s been going on and I wanted to capture it like that. I didn’t want to dive into one certain event or make it about one thing. It’s about everything that’s going on.