“The Heart Part 4,” released last week, felt like Kendrick Lamar going about his morning routine of lyrical calisthenics after perusing the “life” and “metro” sections of the newspaper. “Humble,” his newest single, is Kendrick dressed and ready to go, doing rap hands in the mirror before blowing through stop signs on the way to the office.
Which he owns.
HIS HOLINESS YUNG KENNY BELARDO IN THIS THING, ATONE FOR YOUR SINS, GET RIGHT WITH GOD, PAY YOUR TITHES.
“Humble” is the second loosie released ahead of Kendrick’s yet-to-be-titled album, due out “soon,” which the internet consensus is currently interpreting as April 7. The song, and its thoroughly cinematic visual complement directed by Dave Meyers (and the Little Homies), arrived Thursday, early in the evening. In the video, Kendrick drives golf balls off the top of a car. (It’s not great form, but he’s at the Los Angeles River, not Augusta.) He eats sandwiches dressed with Grey Poupon mustard (in the same sleek black Cutlass). He rollicks around on top of piles of money.
Why drop it on Thursday at dinnertime, you ask? Who knows? Sit down. Be quiet. I’m trying to figure out how I can get my weekends to start looking like this in the near future.
Like any other time Kendrick does a thing, I’m probably a ways off from understanding it completely. A lot of the locations seem to be in and around Compton and Greater Los Angeles; the content of the song itself stays true to its eponymous theme of humility. “Who that nigga thinkin’ that he frontin’ on man, man?” Kendrick raps, with his head literally on fire.
You’re welcome to come to your own conclusions about “Humble,” but I will tell you this: Hearing the thumping drums and the minor keys on the murder-mystery piano — distinct from the lush, humid sounds of To Pimp a Butterfly and most of untitled unmastered. — scrunched my face beyond recognition.
You know those viral videos of dogs reacting to lemons? My face is stuck like that now. Thanks, Kendrick.