“The Heart Part 5,” released on Sunday evening, marks the acclaimed rapper’s first solo single in almost four years, less than a week shy of his highly-anticipated fifth studio album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.”

Co-directed by Lamar and Dave Free, the video seems deceptively simple at first. It opens with a quote attributed to Oklama, a name that Lamar has gone by in recent months. “I am. All of us” appears on a black screen before Lamar, wearing a white T-shirt and black bandana around his neck, begins rapping in front of a red wall.

“As I get a little older, I realize life is perspective and my perspective may differ from yours,” the Pulitzer Prize-winner says at the top of the song. “I want to say thank you to everyone that’s been down with me. All my fans, all my beautiful fans, anyone who ever gave me a lesson. All my people.” As the song goes on, Lamar’s face morphs into that of other Black men who have famously made headlines – beyond Smith, West and Bryant he takes on the appearance of OJ Simpson, Nipsey Hussle, and Jussie Smollett. Complex notes that the face shifts are timed to specific lyrics, such as West’s at “ain’t no photoshoppin’/friends bipolar” and Hussle’s during the line “I’m in Argentina wiping tears full of confusion,” referencing where Lamar was performing when the late rapper died in 2019.

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