As Kendrick Lamar fever continues to escalate in the wake of the release of his first single, “The Heart Part 4,” from his first forthcoming album in two years, a second track, “Humble,” has only added fuel to the fire. Regardless of whether the record comes out at the hinted at time of April 7th (alluded to on “The Heart Part 4”), “Humble” is enough to whet any appetite for at least a month in anticipation of whatever Lamar’s next musical maneuver is.
In the meantime, the west coast rapper has left us to ponder the layered meanings of his newest video, the verbal message of which touts, “I’m the realest nigga, after all/bitch, be humble,” all while he dons pope garb, emulates Christ at the table of The Last Supper and is the only one to stand out amid crowds of the men who surround him. But then, this contrast is only meant to serve as a reminder to those in his peer group (the likes of Drake and Big Sean whom he already threw shade at in “The Heart Part 4”) that while they’re all trying to brag about their paychecks, women and superiority, they really ought to just sit the fuck down and be humble.
While some might not see the Kanye allusions in the song and video, there’s no denying the correlations as Lamar does what Kanye loves to do best: style himself as “Yeezus,” some sort of modern answer to Jesus and religion all rolled into one egomaniacal package. The only other rapper to make such a claim was Nas in the “Hate Me Now” video when he was nailed to the cross. And Kanye, too, has notoriously been styled with a crown of thorns on both the single cover for “Jesus Walks” and on the cover of Rolling Stone with the headline: “The Passion of Kanye West.”
And yet, it hasn’t been until the vehemence of Kendrick’s urgent and unbridled reminder to simply “be humble” that perhaps his fellow rappers will take pause to consider doing just that. Otherwise, please await a “No Frauds”-esque example to be made of him by multiple other parties.