YouTube/Kendrick Lamar
YouTube/Kendrick Lamar

How Kendrick Lamar Became OJ Simpson and Kanye West for His New ‘The Heart Part 5’ Video

Edduin Carvajal
May 09, 2022
09:10 P.M.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar surprised the world by turning into several controversial male figures during his "The Heart Part 5" music video. It got eight million views in less than 24 hours.


Arguably one of the greatest rappers in contemporary history, Kendrick Lamar released "The Heart Part 5" on May 8, 2022, one of the singles of his fifth studio album "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers."

While the song's beat and lyrics were outstanding, the video stole the spotlight. It made such a splash on the internet that it got over eight million views on YouTube in under 24 hours.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, California | Source: Getty Images

Rapper Kendrick Lamar on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, California | Source: Getty Images


One of the reasons Kendrick's "The Heart Part 5" got so much attention was that he had not released any music with him as a lead singer since 2018.

The song, the fifth in his ongoing "The Heart" series that dates back to 2010, begins with Kendrick saying he learned life was about perspective and thanking the people who have supported him throughout the years, specifically his "beautiful fans."

Kendrick Lamar on April 2, 2016, in Houston, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar on April 2, 2016, in Houston, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

He then starts rapidly spitting bars about "the culture," street violence, and coming from a generation where "murder is minor" over a jazzy beat that turns into 1970s soul during the chorus.

Kendrick's lyrics take a different meaning when, around the 1:45-minute mark, the YouTube video shows his face morphing into O.J. Simpson. His different looks apparently correlate with his lyrics as he mentions a "bulletproof Rover" while impersonating Simpson.


The same happens later when Kendrick Lamar's face changes into other controversial Black men, including Jussie Smollett, Kanye West, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, and Nipsey Hussle.

[Kendrick's] fifth album will be his last as part of Top Dawg Entertainment.



Directed by Kendrick Lamar and his long-time collaborator Dave Free, "The Heart Part 5" video made headlines for the proficient use of deep fake technology.

Although it is a relatively new technology, deep fakes have already been implemented in Hollywood. Lucasfilm hired YouTube deep fake expert Shamook to improve the visual effects used to de-age Mark Hamil in "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett."

Other than that, the clip seemed reasonably easy to shoot. It was a single camera focusing on Kendrick's face the whole time, with no evident cuts made throughout the 5-minute-42-second-long video.



Kendrick Lamar's new album, "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers," will be released on May 13. He used a new moniker, oklama, to announce he was working on a new studio album in August 2021.

He pointed out that his fifth album would be his last as part of Top Dawg Entertainment. Kendrick and Dave Free already launched pgLang, the "multidisciplinary media company" that played a crucial role in the "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers" campaign.

It is important to remark that Kendrick Lamar has kept most album details under wraps. He has worked with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Robert Glasper, Thundercat, U2, and many other artists along the way, but this album's collaborations remain a secret.

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