It has been nearly four years since new Kendrick Lamar music of his own making has hit the internet. And now, “The Heart Part 5,” a new entry in his long-running series, which dates back to The Kendrick Lamar EP, has been uploaded as the song arrives just days before Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’ May 13 release date.
In the Dave Free and Lamar-directed video, the latter thanks his day one fans and the hood for their continued support before diving right into his freestyle flow. The lyrics, which will have people dissecting it for the next few days, have extra juice as the rapper’s face morphs into several deepfakes, including O.J. Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, and a few others.
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At one point, when he’s discussing bipolar disorder, he appears as West, and when he talks about murder, he’s the late Hussle. Deep Voodoo, the studio run by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is credited with doing the deepfake work. In addition to the “special thanks” to the comedic duo, this adds more hype to the new live-action comedy that Deep Voodoo and pgLang are currently in the process of developing.
In April, Lamar announced Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by tweeting a link to his oklama website, marking this as his final LP for Top Dawg Entertainment. In August of last year, Lamar used a note to discuss his longtime label. “May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling,” he wrote at the time. “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.”
He recently teased the album with a photo showing the LP as two CDs and a book.
Watch the video below.
UPDATE: Reactions have begun to trickle in from those inside and around the music world.