Kendrick Lamar's Surrealist Videos Reach New Highs On 'For Free'
  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 05, 2015

  • Posted by: Don Saas

I'll tell you what. If you asked me which song on To Pimp A Butterfly that I thought Kendrick Lamar would turn into a music video next I would have said it had to be "The Blacker the Berry." It was one of the three singles dropped prior to To Pimp A Butterfly's official release, and although it's last verse has proven to be highly controversial, it's also widely regarded as one of the strongest tracks on the year's best record. I never thought Kendrick would choose "For Free (Interlude)," the two minute track sandwiched between album opener "Wesley's Theory" and "King Kunta" but that's what K-Dot did, and now I think I want videos for every track on the album? Or maybe a Kanye West style Runaway short film. Let's make it happen!

As to "For Free" though, the video is a pitch-perfect example of form meeting function. "For Free" is one of the most explicitly jazzy records on the album -- speaking to the deeply rooted Miles Davis influence FlyLo brought to the record -- and the editing of the piece is schizophrenic and rhythmic and completely in tune with the tempo of the track. And although surrealism has been a theme of many of TPAB's videos, Kendrick and his team take the surrealism to new heights as the story of a bad romance and gold digging are paired with bizarre visuals and Kendrick creeping through a mansion full of jump cuts that Godard would be proud of and montage that Eisenstein would applaud.

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