Kendrick Lamar‘s latest visual for Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers sees the Pulitzer winner join forces with an Oscar champ.
On Friday, K. Dot shared the fourth video from his fifth studio album, for track “Count Me Out,” featuring a cameo from the iconic Helen Mirren. In the partially black-and-white clip, Mirren plays Lamar’s therapist as the pair sit across from each other in a room and discuss his inner thoughts.
The clip opens with Lamar and Mirren sitting in the black-and-white room, Lamar at a piano, as Mirren asks the rapper about an altercation he had with a woman over a parking spot. A flashback shows Lamar tell the woman, who asked him why he stole her parking spot, that he didn’t take the spot. “I did take her parking spot,” he later confessed to Mirren, as they both laughed.
“You texted me at 2 o’clock in the morning, ‘I feel like I’m fallen,'” Mirren then asks Lamar after a brief pause. “Why’d you feel that way?”
“Life,” Lamar responds to Mirren before jumping into the song — which begins with the lines “One of these lives, I’ma make things right / With the wrongs I’ve done, that’s one of you now.”
The video is co-directed by Lamar and Dave Free, and marks the fourth visual off Mr. Morale — following “N95,” “We Cry Together,” and “Rich Spirit” — and the fifth that Kendrick has dropped this year. His clip for non-album cut “The Heart Part 5,” is up for best music video at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
It’s also not the only high-profile appearance Mirren’s made this week. On Friday, the 1923 star appeared as the narrator in the first teaser trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie, doing so in the style of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In it, she explains how Barbie impacted the toy industry.
As for Lamar, the music superstar opened up in a new interview with W Magazine about the impact his children had on his latest Grammy-nominated record. Lamar has a daughter he reportedly welcomed in July 2019 with fiancée Whitney Alford and an infant, who can be seen on his latest album’s cover art.
“Will I allow them to be themselves? Will I allow them to journey off in the world and experience life for what they know of? That’s love, to me,” Lamar explained. “And when I look at that, I try to apply it with how I express myself, how I look at my career, and how I meet other individuals. Am I allowing them to be themselves without any judgment? My children have taught me that.”
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When it came to doubting his new double album, it was Lamar’s little ones who pushed him to go through with his vision. “When I got to completion and I said, ‘I may or may not put this out; I’m not going to put this out; it’s way too much,’ I thought about my children,” he shared. “I thought about when they turn 21, or they’re older in life, and when I got grandchildren, or if I’m long gone — this can be a prerequisite of how to cope. That’s the beauty of it for me.”
Kendrick is nominated for eight total Grammys at the Feb. 5 award show, giving him the second-most nods this year. His categories include record of the year, song of the year, album of the year, and best rap album, among others.