Kendrick Lamar's new music video, which dropped Sunday, features the rapper morphing into the faces of several public figures using deepfake technology.
Directed by Lamar and longtime collaborator Dave Free, “The Heart Part 5" video marked Lamar’s return to the spotlight after nearly four years.
The roughly 5-minute music video opens with a black title screen with a statement in white: “I am. All of us. -oklama." As Lamar begins the video rapping by himself against a crimson backdrop, his face morphs into those of other Black men, including Ye, formerly Kanye West, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett and O.J. Simpson, as well as the late Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.
The video had amassed almost 7.5 million views Monday afternoon.
To achieve the effect, Lamar used deepfake technology, synthetic media in which an existing image or video is visually or audibly manipulated to say and do something that is not real.
In the YouTube video description, Lamar gives special thanks to “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and their Deep Voodoo deepfake studio.
How deepfake videos are madeJan. 8, 202002:16
Representatives for Lamar, Parker and Stone did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
Lamar, widely known as a virtuoso who constantly pushes the boundaries with his projects, has earned many accolades, including 14 Grammy awards, for his work, including the albums “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “Damn” and the soundtrack “Black Panther” for the Marvel film of the same name. “Damn” was also the first non-classical and non-jazz album to win the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2018.
Lamar's new album, "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers," is scheduled for release Friday.