The first music video from Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is finally here, and it’s for “N95,” already an early favorite from the album. (As true Kendrick Lamar fans know, “The Heart” series never appears on an actual album.)
The visual—directed by pgLang co-founder Dave Free and Adam Newport-Berra—opens on a beach, with Kendrick floating above the ocean in a Christlike pose, before switching to mostly black and white for the rest. There’s a mix of scenes that volley between soothing and high intensity, like Kendrick sitting at a piano with two women versus him running down the street being chased by several people. His cousin Baby Keem, who co-produced the track with Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, and Sounwave, also shows up for a few scenes including a fun joyride.
The hard-hitting track, which appears early on the album, sees Kendrick ruminating on the world post-pandemic (“Murder is stacking, the president acting, the government taxing my funds in”) and challenging people to break free from material items and distractions (“Take all that designer bullshit off and what do you have?”), and taking aim at hypocrisy (“I’m done with the sensitive, taking it personal, done with the black and the/white, the wrong and the right”) and cancel culture (literally “What the fuck is cancel culture, dawg?”) Watch the video below.