Video Review: Kendrick Lamar "DNA"

Kendrick Lamar sits in the interrogation room, chained to a lie detector. A police officer (Don Cheadle) walks in and scoffs once he sees Lamar. He comments that Lamar has two first names and shames him for it. Lamar looks at the floor. He then asks “do you know what DNA stands for?” and answers his own question with “Dead N– Association.” He sits next to Lamar and hits the button on the lie detector. Convulsing, he breathes hard as the needle of the lie detector scratches across the paper.

Lethargic, he gives himself a minute to gather his bearings from the injection of Lamar’s DNA. He stands across from Lamar and throws off his jacket, lip syncing his lyrics. Lamar responds back and the police officer begins to copy his movements. After Lamar slaps his hand away, the police officer pauses, remembering and then unlocks him from the chains.

Meanwhile, a woman, with several of her friends in the car, does figure eights on the road. A friend puts her hand over her eyes.

Lamar walks onto the sidewalk, the screen pausing to show his Chinese name (Kung Fu Kenny). On the next street, a group of his friends wait for him. He kneels on the pavement and rolls the dice.

Lamar sits in a coffin, holding rose petals. A man whispers in his ear, waking him up. In black-and-white, he moves in a manic pace as he raps. While he talks on the phone, he taps to a painting of Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur. He peeks through the blinds. A little boy waves as Lamar holds him. Two men sit outside their house, eating from styrofoam dishes on a cardboard table.

Lamar stands with his group of friends. Schoolboy Q lights a cigarette and then signals for the camera person to stop filming. Then, he punches the camera.

Rating: 5/5

The police officer (Don Cheadle) had been chasing him for a while. He had been jaywalking across the street, was questioned and then brought into the station. After hooking him up to the lie detector, the police officer left for several hours, making him wait.

The police officer returns, smug that he caught his prize and teases Lamar for his trendy name, implying he has an upper class upbringing and merely role-playing. However, he states that Lamar’s future will entail a cell or lying dead in the street from gunshot wounds.

However, the police officer gets a chance to be inside Lamar’s head and relate. After being subdued from the injection, he unchains Lamar. Lamar calls him a sellout and a traitor.

On the road, women engage in reckless driving while his friends, stereotyped as gangsters, hang out in the street, playing dice. The women make a U-turn and continue driving. The police are nowhere in sight. But it’s Lamar’s friends who are targeted and watch. Schoolboy Q hits the camera to stop the harassment.

Director: Nabil & the little homies Year: 2017

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