Music Video Review: “Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar

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It seems that every song Kendrick Lamar has released or is featured on recently is considered a gauge of how his highly anticipated album, set to release before 2015, will ultimately do; everybody is looking to see if K. Dot will succumb to churning out mediocrity that will flood mainstream radio and fail to give his fans anything musically or lyrically significant. For example, a listen to Kendrick Lamar’s newest single, “i”, evokes a response similar to what I experienced during Eminem’s “Monster”. These rappers just might be falling prey to industry standards, checking radio plays and disregarding the original reasons for which they began rapping. The beats are generic and raps aren’t bad (especially Kendrick Lamar, whose verses display lyrical prowess above most other rappers today), but what do they offer in terms of the musical development or artistic portfolio of these rappers? A few listens and a few radio DJ air horns later and most would probably say very little. However, many can be too quick to judge. Sometimes it’s hard not to. However, Kendrick Lamar has been dropping some gems that have restored in me any hope I had lost by preemptively judging the self-proclaimed “king of rap.” This track, off of Flying Lotus’ new LP, You’re Dead, is outstanding. In it, Kendrick Lamar is having an extremely introspective moment, simultaneously thinking about and anticipating his own death while saying that death will never catch him; his legacy will always live on through his music.  In the video, we see a funeral in which two children have passed away. As the music progresses however, almost in line with Kendrick Lamar’s building hope in his afterlife and overall situation, the children are brought back to life and dance through the funeral and then outside. The kids eventually steal a hearse and drive it away, other children running after them, unable to catch up.

First and foremost the video is beautiful aesthetically; the church setting as well as the black and white color choices on the flowers and clothing create an extremely beautiful aesthetic environment for the video. The dancing was incredible, with the two children taking an extremely intricate hip-hop dance/FlyLo solo for the last minute or so of the video. The message the video conveys is also beautiful: in order to keep moving forward it’s important to have hope and believe in something, regardless of whether or not this implies religion, afterlife, or any secular goal. Kendrick certainly displays that he wants to keep moving forward and never let anybody or anything catch him up.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXD0vv-ds8

 

(Image Source Pitchfork.com)