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Kendrick Lamar has shared an explosive music video for his new song “N95.” On Saturday (May 14), the 34-year-old superstar rapper dropped the second visual from his just-released fifth album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
The powerful clip, directed by Lamar and Dave Free, opens with the phrase “This S— Hard” flashing across the screen in red capital letters. From there, the rapper is seen hovering in a Jesus-like crucifix pose over crashing ocean waves while a young child looks on from the beach. The three-and-a-half minute video alters from color to black-and-white, as Lamar takes on several roles with striking imagery, including a piano player surrounded by beautiful women and a man doing an intense workout on the rooftop of a large building.
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In the song, Lamar offers a perfect blend of introspection and aggression using the “N95” mask, popularly used during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a metaphor for fake inauthenticity amongst contemporary American society.
“N95” is the second music video from Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which was released on Friday (May 13). Earlier in the week, Lamar dropped his “The Heart Part 5″ song and an accompanying music video. The visual, which arrived May 8, features a close-up shot of the rapper spitting bars through the song’s entirety as his face morphs into O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Will Smith and Nipsey Hussle.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers features guest appearances by Ghostface Killah, Kodak Black, Blxst, Sampha and Summer Walker, among others. The double-disc album sees Lamar stretch the creative boundaries of his artistry to reflect on fatherhood, faithfulness, materialism, generational curses and much more. The 18-track set follows his Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-winning project DAMN., which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2017.
Watch Lamar’s video for “N95” below.