Kendrick Lamar’s magnum opus To Pimp a Butterfly didn’t have many obvious single candidates, but the smooth, soulful Pharrell production “Alright” was one of them. It now has an ambitious music video to match that candidacy, one directed by Colin Tilley and The Little Homies. (Tilley is a veteran music video director, one who has done fine work for Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland.) It’s consistent with the righteous anger and fear that defined its parent album.
There’s no shortage of striking imagery throughout “Alright”: graphic police brutality, the Los Angeles skyline cast in soft, smoggy light, and Kendrick floating through the city’s streets with fire in his eyes. There’s a piece of new music, too, which you can hear from 2:03 through 2:36. It’s a warm, gurgling bit of jazz-funk produced by Sounwave, who handled much of To Pimp a Butterfly, and Kendrick raps it while hanging with his buddies in a tire-less car being carried down the street by four white police officers. That piece of imagery just about sums up the rest of “Alright,” which you should really check out for yourself.