Watch the video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” (VIDEO).

The Video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” Has Arrived

The Video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” Has Arrived

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Slate's Culture Blog
June 27 2017 4:49 PM

The Video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” Has Arrived

Kendrick Lamar's Element video.

Still taken from video.

Kendrick Lamar has just dropped the music video for "Element," the third from his newest album, Damn.

The video is stylish and violent. It starts off with a lone hand rising from a body of water and then transitions to scenes of violence interspersed with images of a young black boy's childhood. There are other instances in the video that subvert American stereotypes, such as the image featuring a group of inmates, all of whom are white.


Twitter users were quick to point out that some of the visuals, like the image of the group of women adorned in white garb, were inspired by the multitalented black photographer Gordon Parks.

Like the video for “DNA,” the music video was directed by Jonas Lindstroem and the Little Homies, an alias for the team of Kendrick and Top Dawg Entertainment president Dave Free.

Sadly, Don Cheadle doesn't reprise his role as Kung Fu Kenny.

Austin Elias-de Jesus is a Slate editorial intern.