Art style

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘N95’ Music Video Features Major Artistic Monuments – ARTnews.com

A few days after release Mr. Morale and Big Stepshis first new album in five years, rapper Kendrick Lamar has unveiled a music video featuring two Texas cultural landmarks.

The recently released song “N95” has a video, co-directed by Lamar and musical director Dave Free, which features the Fort Worth Water Gardens, designed by Philip Johnson, and the city’s Kimbell Museum of Art.

In one clip, Lamar is seen descending the steps in a geometric stone-carved vortex down which water cascades in sheets and collects at the bottom in a meditation pool.

The public plaza, opened in 1974, is at the southern end of Fort Worth’s downtown district; he also appeared in Solange’s 2019 music video for the song “Almeda”. Footage of Lamar standing at the bottom of the Fort Worth site mimics other footage of him floating in the video: It opens with a segment filmed on a Los Angeles beach in which he levitates above the ocean, arms outstretched as on a cross. .

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Later, Lamar takes center stage in an empty auditorium of the Kimbell Museum’s Renzo Piano-designed auditorium, playing the piano. The venue echoes Louis Kahn’s iconic 1972 architectural design for the original museum, noted for its scale and light-filled vaulted space, but is even more open and transparent.

Between shots of Lamar serenading at the piano and being chased by an angry mob, eagle-eyed viewers will spot a reference to another kingpin of art history: photographer Gordon Parks.

A black-and-white segment shows a young child resting his chin on his hand as he chooses from a pair of dolls – one black and one white – offered by an adult of whom only hands are seen holding the toys.

“Finished with black and white, fake and real,” Lamar raps over the footage, a line that indicates the shot reference: a 1947 photograph of Parks, Untitled, Harlem, New York. It was taken while documenting the infamous 1940s ‘Doll Tests’, an experiment conducted by psychologists Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clark that showed the impact of segregation on black children. The images would become crucial evidence for the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Commission of Topeka Education which ended segregation in public schools.

This isn’t the first time Parks’ imagery has influenced Lamar’s visual work. In 2017, the musician recreated photographs Parks took for the “Element” music video, including his 1963 snap Black Muslims train in self-defense, taken during a stint chronicling a community of young black Muslims in Chicago.