Kendrick Lamar pleasantly surprised his fans when he dropped his new song, “The Heart Part 5,” and the accompanying music video on Sunday, May 8. The unexpected drop came just days before the anticipated arrival of Lamar’s new album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” which is due out May 13.
On “The Heart Part 5” track, the history-making Pulitzer Prize winner is true to form in challenging Black America to ascend to higher moral heights with his unique brand of gifted flow. He criticizes the negative aspects of Black culture that have been accepted as culture and then calls for his people to be greater and do better.
In one of the verses, Kendrick Lamar raps:
“That’s the problem
Our foundation was trained to accept whatever follows
Scrutinize the way we live for you and I
Enemies shook my hand, I can promise I’ll meet you
In the land where no equal is your equal
Never say I ain’t told ya, nah
In the land where hurt people hurt more people
F**k callin’ it culture”
Lamar’s face morphs during the video into deep fakes of other high-profile Black men who have greatly influenced Black culture. They include O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith and Nipsey Hussle.
Each morph is appropriate to the lines Lamar is spitting when they happen and he ends his latest work of art rapping as Nipsey Hussle – both in image and voice. It is here that Lamar advises Black America on how it should focus its energy. He spits:
“Celebrate new life when it come back around
The purpose is in the lessons we learnin’ now
Sacrifice personal gain over everything
Just to see the next generation better than ours.”
Here are some reactions to “The Heart Part 5” from Black America on Twitter.
NBA icon LeBron James simply tweeted, “OMFG!!!!!!!” along with emojis to accentuate how dope he thought the song and video were.
“You know Kendrick really be on some other sh*t when you watch a video of him doing fake deeps as OJ Simpson and Jusse Smollett and come away from it feeling relieved like whew I thought Kendrick was gonna REALLY be on some weird shit this album this is light,” @DragonflyJonez tweeted.
“Kendrick Lamar is the one artist I know who won’t ignore the issues that are going on in the world. It’s not just about entertaining people with him, if he sees something going on he speaks on it through his music,” @Cheamane tweeted.
“That last Nipsey part left me with goosebumps. I don’t want to have anymore conversations about who’s the greatest doing it right now. Kendrick got it,” @InoValentine said.
“Remember when Big Boy asked Kanye about turning his back on ‘The Culture’? And Kanye said Fxck the Culture with an explanation? On ‘The Heart Part 5’ Kendrick is explaining what Kanye meant. The most articulate way of saying ‘Fxck That Culture. That’s not Culture’,” @TheRegPodcast wrote.
“Kendrick rapping the 3rd verse in Nipsey’s perspective is just beautiful man,” @songsandsamples tweeted.
“Kendrick Lamar really makes this rap shit look easy bro holy sh*t,” @smuckersbytyler tweeted.
“I keep rewatching the Nipsey part of the Kendrick video,” @iamcarlyx wrote. “Sh*t was executed very well!”
Here are a few more reactions:
Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album, “DAMN.”
PHOTO: Kendrick Lamar performs at FYF Fest at Exposition Park on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)