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Music / April 2016
Blair Hammond, Senior Manager, Global Newsroom

Kendrick Lamar Drops New Spoken Word Video

Kendrick Lamar is releasing never-before-seen spoken word material to fans who have had limited access to the artist since his celebrated Grammy performance in February.

In the newest work, created in conjunction with Reebok’s iconic Classic Leather shoe, Lamar passionately speaks as he walks through gilded but hallow mansion halls. Like many of Lamar’s other videos, the newest piece was recorded and shot in his beloved California—adding the signature authenticity Lamar is famous for.

“Greatness is my goal, but there’s failure on the way,” he says. 

Kendrick Lamar Profile

Like many of Lamar’s works, this newest drop is laced with symbolism. In the midst of the mansion’s gold and gaudy interior Lamar is real and true.

“What I can’t control can’t confine me,” he spits.

Pacing around the space, Lamar draws the viewer in as his manifesto intensifies. 

“What I can’t do can’t stop me,” he says.

Slowly and purposefully his silhouette fades in and out of the mansion's shadows just before Lamar launches into his haunting closing line. “This is how I express myself, not how I follow others’ expectations but how I stay true.” 

For Lamar there is symbolism in the choice of the Classic Leather shoe, too.

“There’s a lot of people out there chasing trends and showboating—trying to keep up and stay in front of the cameras,” he says.

“My style has always just been me, and I respect a shoe, a company or a fan that is true to its roots and where it came from. That’s me. That’s also Classic Leather.”

The full lyrics of Lamar’s performance are below.

From the very heart of me, belief becomes action and no distractions will take my eyes off the prize.

Greatness is my goal, but there’s failure on the way.

Full of insecurity, self hate, and doubt.

But what I can’t control can’t confine me.

And what I can’t do can’t stop me.

This is how I express myself, not how I follow others expectations but how I stay true.

Classic Leather

Music / April 2016
Blair Hammond, Senior Manager, Global Newsroom