Kendrick Lamar has returned with ‘The Heart Part 5’, his first single as a lead artist since 2018. It’s the fifth instalment in Lamar’s ‘The Heart’ song series. Parts one and two were released in 2010, with its third part arriving in 2012 and fourth in 2017.
Flipping Marvin Gaye‘s ‘I Want You’, it’s a grooving, buoyant cut sonically that foregrounds K.Dot’s solemn meditations on the environment he sees around him. “That’s the culture, crack a bottle, hard to deal with the pain when you’re sober / By tomorrow, we forget the remains, we start over, that’s the problem,” he raps.
At multiple times throughout, Lamar also references the murder of fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019: “I’m in Argentina wiping my tears full of confusion / Water in between us, another peer’s been executed.”
‘The Heart Part 5’ arrives alongside a video directed by Lamar and his frequent collaborator Dave Free. The clip begins with a quote from Lamar’s alter-ego, oklama: “I am. All of us.”
Lamar is then shown in front of a red background, rapping his verses. As the video continues, his face morphs via deepfake technology into Hussle, Kanye West, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, Jussie Smollett and OJ Simpson.
Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Lamar’s fifth studio album, is set to arrive this Friday, 13th May. Lamar announced the follow-up to 2017’s Damn. last month, saying it would be his final record with longtime label Top Dawg Entertainment.
Watch the video for ‘The Heart Part 5’ below.