Last week, Kendrick Lamar emerged from the studio — or wherever else he’s been for the last few months — with a banging new song, “The Heart Part 4,” and a teaser about the possible arrival of a new album. “The Heart Part 4” concluded with Lamar rapping “Y’all got til April the 7th to get y’all shit together.” And now, a week before that date, there’s another new single, and this one comes with a pretty amazing video.
“Humble” appeared on YouTube last night, and if it is the lead single from a new album, then it suggests that album is going to be very good indeed. The song’s lyric is wide-ranging and dextrous, riffing off the theme of humility to take in everything from the trappings of wealth to the ongoing controversy of beauty magazine retouching (“I’m so sick and tired of the Photoshop/ …Show me something natural, like an ass with some stretch marks!”). Mike Will Made It’s production is great, too — based around a minimalist but super-catchy piano sample, augmented with simple 808 beats that leave plenty of space for Lamar’s vocals to breathe.
The video also contains a surfeit of striking imagery: there’s Kendrick as a sort of money-counting Antipope, Kendrick showing off his golf swing (needs more backswing, follow-through could be smoother), Kendrick in a sea of Malkovich-esque Lamaralikes, Kendrick shot through a very Hype Williams-esque fisheye lens as he rides his bike around a miniature world, Kendrick at the Last Supper. There’s a whole lot to unpack here; and damn has it ever got us excited for that new album, whenever it turns up.