Kendrick Lamar’s latest video, “ELEMENT.”, is here. The power-packed visual – the second off his album DAMN. – was directed by fashion photographer Jonas Lindström and The Little Homies (Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free). It’s a stunning dichotomy, bubbling over with symbolism.
A group of men shadowbox, a building burns and K-Dot lays it all out, rapping, “I been stomped out in front of my momma/My daddy commissary made it to commas/Bitch, all my grandmas dead/So ain't nobody prayin' for me, I'm on your head, ayy”. The lethargic visuals tell a story of salvation and self-sacrifice, as we see violent images contrasted by more calming imagery like nuns in habits and a young boy standing in the rain.
There seems to be a shift recently with massive stars tapping cool, underground fashion photographers for everything from their album artwork to their videos: Dazed contributor Harley Weir shot Harry Styles’ self-titled album cover; Petra Collins lent her dreamy aesthetic to Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar” single artwork. Music and fashion have always been intrinsically linked, but in my opinion, massive stars are really clueing in to how aesthetic can be used to completely shape a narrative.