Kendrick Lamar Calls Missy Elliott’s And Busta Rhymes’ Videos A ‘Big Inspiration’ For His Own

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Back in the day, if you were a fan of colorful, imaginative music videos, you couldn’t wait to see the latest from” target=”_blank” title=””>Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. The innovative pair were constantly pushing boundaries and trying weird, off-the-way visual tricks that expanded on the concept of videos from promotional vehicles for music singles to their own art form. Clearly, Kendrick Lamar was a big fan, stuffing his videos to the gills with striking, surreal imagery that makes them as much fun to watch as listening to their songs.

Kendrick confirmed just that fact in a recent interview with Billboard. While the conversation mainly focused on his role in the NBA’s All-Star weekend festivities in Los Angeles, including his relationship with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his own hypothetical stat line in the celebrity game (in which he has yet to play), eventually the subject of his stunning videos for Black Panther‘s soundtrack came up. While his answers wouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been following his career for a while — he’s cited Busta as an infl on his rap style in the past as well — it’s still an interesting look into the creative process behind the flaming heads and palm tree elote breaks.

You’ve become a music video savant at this juncture of your career. At what point did the music video aspect become so crucial to your brand?

I think from the jump it’s always been crucial to me. You know, just being a kid watching BET, I’d be on the phone with Dave — you know my partner that does the videos with me — and we’d be watching Missy Elliott videos back in high school, and Busta Rhymes videos. They were always big inspirations.

So by the time we got to the point where we can mass produce visuals on that level, we said to each other “We all in,” and that we’ve been waiting for this moment. So, I think it’s something that always inspired us to do it, just being a student and always appreciating somebody being willing to put full impact and full ideas not only into the songs, but when you’re watching the songs.

Especially for the “All The Stars” video.

Definitely, shout out to Dave Meyers, too. I mean, even the videos that I’m talking about we were watching back in the day, they were all his videos. Talking about Missy Elliot and things like that. Dave Meyers is that guy. He did “LOYALTY.” and the “HUMBLE.” video.

The “All The Stars” and “King’s Dead” videos from Black Panther The Album have both received praise for their dazzling cinematography and mind-bending visual effects. Missy and Busta have been busy as well, collaborating on “Get It,” and teaching legendary actors how to rap for Super Bowl commercials.