Kendrick Lamar Becomes ‘All of Us’ in Stunning Video for ‘The Heart Part 5’

Also in this week's new music: Florence + the Machine, Leikeli47 and a soaring Lady Gaga power ballad.

EntertainmentNew Music Friday

Yes to this creative manifesto: Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part 5″ – Kendrick Lamar proves again why he’s one of the most prolific artists of his generation with the provocative hit single “The Heart Part 5″—which he released to promote his highly-anticipated new album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. The single’s innovative music video uses deepfake technology to morph the LA-bred rapper into the likeness of Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle, Jussie Smollett, Kanye West, and Will Smith among others. Aside from the deliciously freaky aspect of watching Lamar shape-shift in real time, the lyrics speak to each of their individual stories—a detail most obvious when he delivers a verse that begins with “friends bipolar” as he morphs into Kanye. The music video begins with a quote from Oklama, “I am. All Of Us,” and the rest is just pure heart. —Ezinne Ukoha

Gag-worthy, but a good enough time: Lady Gaga, “Hold My Hand” – At this point, there isn’t anyone unaware of Lady Gaga’s particular prowess with a power ballad. And yet, the pop icon just keeps outdoing herself. “Hold My Hand,” written for the heavily-anticipated Top Gun sequel, is a tender—read: aggressively cringe—devotional and full-throated demand. Verses include lyrics like “But if you decide to, I’ll ride in this life with you/I won’t let go ‘til the end” and “I know you’re scared and your pain is imperfect/But don’t you give up on yourself.” Add in the visuals of Gaga writhing on a baby grand piano that—for some reason—is smack dab in the middle of a tarmac while an actual fighter jet whizzes overhead, and it’s inevitable that this track will forever be counted amongst the corny canon greats. —Audra Heinrichs

I cosign these vibes! Leikeli47, “LL Cool J” – Leikeli47 is back with her third album Shape Up and her buzzy new track, “LL Cool J” which stands for “Ladies Love Cool Jewelry.” It’s a smooth, enjoyable ride with punchy lyrics that flow with self-confidence and evoke plenty of girl power. The music video is a collage of beautiful women dripping in gems and flirting with the cameras. Shape Up is the last album in the trilogy that began with 2017’s Wash & Set followed by 2018’s Acrylic. All three LPs are known for their strong themes of women empowerment which, at this point in time, is a breath of fresh. —Ezinne Ukoha

Jfc yes: Florence + The Machine, “Choreomania” – Florence + The Machine, thank the sweet heavens, is finally back with a full-length album, and Dear Flo, does it deliver. Dance Fever has a manic-depressive narrative to it and veers in and out of doom and joy —perfectly reflecting the atmosphere so many of us have been trapped in over the last several years. “I am freaking out in the middle of the street/with the complete conviction of someone/whose never had anything really bad happen to them/but I am committed now/to the feeling,” Florence begins in a percussion-driven intro. As with much of her past music, the apocalyptic sound eventually washes away to reveal a joyful lilt with a cinematic build, but something’s different this time. The music seems to be hopelessly searching for a happy, sensible place to land, only to spin out of control—hence, the mania. Regardless, I’m more than fine to lose myself in a whirlwind that looks at least somewhat like happiness. —Emily Leibert

Just what I was hoping for: slenderbodies, “smilin” – Perfectly timed to the long-overdue defrosting of New York City as its green parks are flooded with fake-tanned winter bodies, the sweet-crooning duo is out with a new single that leaves you grinning. Exactly as the title promises. Slenderbodies has long been able to capture the sound of sunshine or the feeling of unabashed dancing, and in the accompanying visualizer, the new single “smilin’” serves as the soundtrack to bodies writhing and wriggling in a field: a practice in just existing, slowly. The song rises and falls like a triumphant sigh, transporting listeners to a soft, summer haze. In short, it accomplishes what the best of slenderbodies always has: It allows you to find your groove. —EL

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