The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the music industry hard. Artists aren’t able to tour and play concerts — often their primary source of revenue — and gathering a large crew to film music videos is often out of the question. People have taken their time in quarantine to adapt to the changing landscape, and some have taken the time to work on new material. Kendrick Lamar has been doing both.
What has Kendrick Lamar been up to?
For someone who seems to constantly be releasing music, Kendrick Lamar has been laying low for quite some time now. In 2017, he released his critically acclaimed album DAMN. and went on a worldwide tour in support of the album. The following year saw the release of Black Panther: The Album, Lamar’s expertly curated soundtrack for the box office blockbuster Black Panther. He even made his acting debut on Power alongside his friend 50 Cent.
Since then, however, Kendrick Lamar has been pretty quiet. So when he was spotted filming a music video in Los Angeles recently, fans were quickly excited and began speculating about what Lamar could be preparing to drop.
Kendrick Lamar talks to God on the phone
In paparazzi photos of Kendrick Lamar’s recent music video shoot, Lamar can be seen speaking at a payphone. Dissect, a popular podcast that has explored Lamar’s DAMN. and To Pimp a Butterfly albums at length, offered some insight into what Lamar could possibly be referencing in the song or video.
“A telephone is a recurring motif in Kendrick’s discography, many times as a symbolic means of connecting with God and family,” Dissect tweeted.
On his breakout album good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar repeatedly ignores phone calls from his parents and sends them to voicemail. The album eventually ends with a powerful voicemail from his parents where they stress the importance of family and point him toward God.
Lamar’s 2015 song “Hood Politics” features a voicemail from a friend who questions Lamar’s loyalty after he finds success, seemingly leaving Compton behind. And throughout his DAMN. album, Lamar confronts his relationships with God and the people around him head-on. He receives phone calls from various stand-ins for God, but he keeps missing the calls.
Could fans be getting a sneak peek at Kendrick Lamar’s next album?
In classic Kendrick Lamar fashion, there have been pretty much no confirmed details about any projects that Lamar is currently working on. His DAMN. album was released with very little warning, as was his 2016 untitled unmastered. album.
After the surprise release of DAMN., fans were quick to draw connections to Christianity, even noting the album’s release date on Good Friday. Many predicted that a follow-up album, titled NATION., would be released shortly afterwards, but those dreams never came to fruition.
With a music video seemingly centered around making a phone call, it appears that Lamar might be diving back into the themes of Christianity and his relationship with God. Whether that’s just for this music video or for the album he’s potentially working on remains to be seen.
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