Kendrick Lamar Returns, Along With Some Famous Deepfakes

Kendrick Lamar Returns, Along With Some Famous Deepfakes

by Kenna McCafferty

Kendrick Lamar is back with the first track from his upcoming album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. “The Heart Part 5,” alongside a Deep Voodoo-produced deepfake video, picks up where “The Heart Part 1-4” left off and sees Lamar exploring his place within the current rap scene.

The first, released in 2010, chronicled the opening of Lamar’s soon-to-be-illustrious career, like the long forgotten J. Cole
"feud." Each “The Heart Part” since has been an opportunity for the rapper to reflect on finding his place, and to make a place for his people, many of whom are featured in his visual.

The visual boasts a star-studded, headline-making line-up including Will Smith, to OJ Simpson, Jussie Smollett and Kanye West, or rather, their deepfakes. The video’s credits include a special thanks to “Trey Parker, Matt Stone and DEEP VOODOO” the deepfake studio run by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Lamar transforms into contentious icons, alongside those revered, and lost too soon, like Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant. Speaking through a single voice, while assuming the perspectives of many, Lamar builds a fallible, empathetic image of Black culture.

His first release since 2017, “The Heart Part 5” continues the tradition of Lamar’s internal-monologue-musings, weaving perspectives of and on culture through the mouths of the icons who create it.

The song features a sample from Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” with contributions from Kyle Miller and the behind-the-scenes TDE producer, Bekon. Fans have been quick to jump into discourse over the rapper’s return.

Though we’re unsure of all the hidden messages Lamar left for us in the music video, it certainly left us hungry for the May 13 release, and assured that we will be fed.

Photo via Getty/ Rick Kern