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Kendrick Lamar premieres video for “i” — watch

on November 04, 2014, 12:17pm

With “i”, the lead single to his next studio album, Kendrick Lamar wanted to make an inspirational “record for the homies that’s in the penitentiary right now, and I also wrote a record for these kids that come up to my shows with these slashes on they wrists, saying they don’t want to live no more,” he recently told NYC’s Hot 97.

The accompanying music video, directed by Alexandre Moors and “The Little Homies,” embodies a similar uplifting message of hope as it depicts K. Dot dancing through the rough and tough neighborhood of Compton, California. However, all of this positiveness is thrown into question with the video’s final scene, which shows Kendrick daydreaming in a nightclub. Was that epic dance party merely a figment of Kendrick’s imagination? If so, that would certainly open the door for a much darker album than originally expected. Watch below and decide for yourself.

Lamar will presumably perform “i” when he serves as musical guest on the November 15th episode of Saturday Night Live. Although he’s yet to set a release date for the album, Lamar told Hot 97 that he’s been working with the likes of Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, and Thundercat.