Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore effort, To Pimp a Butterfly, is the number 1 album in the country right now, having moved some 363,000 copies in its first week. This is the first time he’s topped the Billboard charts–the Compton rapper’s acclaimed 2012 debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, debuted at number 2. This landmark achievement comes despite the following hurdles: An abbreviated promotional schedule; an odyssey-like running time; an ambitious, pro-Black political through-line; and a lack of a true hit single, with “i” topping out at #38 on the charts. The new video for “King Kunta,” the DJ Quik-leaning third cut from the album, promises to celebrate all of that, and Section Eighty has brought forth some behind-the-scenes footage from that shoot.
Perched atop the Compton Fashion Center Liquor & Market, Lamar raps the g-funk-infused song for a crowd of excited onlookers, jumping and causing an impromptu mosh pit. It’s a decidedly grass-roots video, very much in line with his choice to perform from the back of a moving truck through Los Angeles. If nothing else, the video reflects the organic feel of the jazz and neo-soul on To Pimp a Butterfly. As for “King Kunta” in particular, it takes aim at a litany of people, especially rappers who use ghostwriters.