02 April 2015

VIDEO: Kendrick Lamar - King Kunta

Kendrick Lamar finally added some visuals to his third single off of To Pimp a Butterfly. The single King Kunta gets a Nuthin But A G Thang vibe applied to it, with a block party and shots around residential areas in Compton. He starts off driving in what appears to be an 80ish Coupe de Ville to his home. Once there we see a throne in the driveway, in reference to title "King" Kunta. It could possibly also hint at his place in hip hop (as he is widely considered the king of his generations hip hop artists). Most of the video takes place around the now closed Compton Fashion Center (aka the Compton Swap Meet). This landmark is important to Kendrick since his childhood was spent there. He recalls buying his tapes, cds and Nikes from the Swap Meet. We see Kendrick around other staples like Julien's liqour store. But mostly we see him dancing inside and outside of residential neighborhoods.

The song itself takes musical elements from Michael Jackson, James Brown and Ahmad Lewis. Lyrically this single is not as intricate as other tracks on TPaB. But that was on purpose. Kendrick wanted the lyrics to be simplistic but still have a message within it. He is able to be boastful but still have integrity. The title was important to K Dot because like many minorities (mainly black men), he has dealt with and heard negative slurs used against him and his loved ones. He wanted to take something negative and turn it into a positive. Even though society might make you feel a certain way, Kendrick wanted to emphasize that you are a man (a king). The track shows the heart of what Kendrick is all about. 

Peep our own Twon Johnson's review of To Pimp a Butterfly.

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