Video Breakdown | Kendrick Lamar – Alright
To say that Kendrick potentially dropped the video of the year, sorry TSwift, would be a glorious understatement. Collin Tilley, the man behind some of the biggest videos in the past few years, has delivered a masterpiece. Tilley took what could have been a traditional hip hop video, i.e. drifting in cars, throwing money, performing for a crowd, and has twisted it just enough to be genius.
The metaphors are endless and the video echoes perfectly the message of the song. Alright is visually stunning and yet socially and politically pointed. But to breakdown this video will take a village so it is time for the District to show off their insight and think their way through this amazing video.
We would love for you to answer these questions in the comments below. We want you to join in the conversation!
Questions To Answer
1. What image strikes you most in the first 1min and 30 seconds? Why?
The image that strikes me most is the kid skateboarding and then disappearing. It’s as if he never had the chance to land. After seeing the whole video, one can see that these few frames are an ode to those that tried to fly, as Kendrick did, yet never came back down.
2. Why does Kendrick start the video riding in a car carried by policemen?
At first this was clearly a king being carried by his slaves. The game had been switched and now authority bows to Kendrick.
But I think I was wrong here.
After reading the amazing insights below and I believe that the car is a coffin of sorts and the officer who “kills” Kendrick is actually one of the pallbearers. This scene could mean multiple things but I think that is part of its genius.
3. Why does Kendrick fly through the video?
I believe Kendrick is flying because he has transcended his streets yet he longs to be reunited with them thus the running and not flying like superman.
4. Why the light pole? Why perform upside down?
The light pole to me was more of a this will look cool kind of thing rather than having a true meaning. With that being said I believe that it reinforces his transcendence but with the sobering reality of the city skyline behind him. A skyline still unattainable.
Is this the highest he can fly? If so that is a sad reality.
Performing upside down is clearly is a symbol of Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who Kendrick may look up to or see himself as.
5. When Kendrick gets shot at the end, is the monologue still his thoughts or the thoughts of the police officer?
I believe that at the beginning of the film you hear kendricks thoughts and by the end you hear the policeman’s thoughts. Both very similar, both abusing their power and influence, both being tempted to evil by “Lucy.” I believe this is the olive branch and the plea for everyone to understand that we all struggle with the same things.
6. Why does Kendrick smile at the end?
I guess because he believes everything will be alright. But honestly this last moment in the video truly puzzles me.
7. What does the video mean on a whole? Who is Kendrick Lamar? Why is it in Black and White?
This video is an ode to those you have been lost in this great war Kendrick speaks of and a song of hope to those who are still fighting.
Kendrick is one who has transcended yet has not forgotten the struggle that many face each and every day. Kendrick seems to say,”Though the world does not see you, I see you. Money is not the goal but love and family are. And though the forces of darkness will seek to quiet us, we will be alright.”
Kendrick is a prophet of sorts trying with all his might to bring joy back into the realm of black and white.
8. What will you remember most?