Kendrick Lamar Caged An Owl And Danced On Drake’s Metaphorical Grave All Around Compton For His ‘Not Like Us’ Video

Call off the fireworks. No pyrotechnic comes close to the combustibility of Kendrick Lamar’s newly released “Not Like Us” video. Directed by Lamar and Dave Free, the six-minute video incorporates many of the Los Angeles legends present at Lamar’s The Pop Out — Ken & Friends Juneteenth concert. Within thirty seconds, Tommy The Clown asks Lamar, “What’s the password?” Lamar whispers, “I see dead people.” And we’re off.

“Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, Dot, f*ck ’em up” was previously celebrated for the exquisite Amazon Prime Video camerawork when Lamar delivered the bar during The Pop Out, but Lamar one-upped that by using it here to dictate the cadence with which he bats the living daylights out of an owl piñata. “DISCLAIMER: NO OVH*ES WERE HARMED DURING THE MAKING OF THIS VIDEO,” the screen reads. (Drake may disagree.)

Lamar cruises around his native Compton, California and immerses with a large crowd of people dancing in the street, which feels very “God’s Plan“-coded, but I could be galaxy-braining that.

“I’m glad DeRoz’ came home, y’all didn’t deserve him neither,” Lamar spits as DeMar DeRozan appears. (DeRozan is from Compton but starred for the Toronto Raptors from 2009-18.) But the most notable cameos come from Lamar’s family. The video switches to black-and-white and meets Lamar dancing with Whitney Alford, his longtime partner, and their two children, Uzi and Enoch, in their living room.

So many statements were made, explicitly and subtly, throughout the video to coincide with lyrical allegations, but the video ends quietly with the poignant and straightforward metaphor of Lamar walking away from a caged owl in a dark room.

Lamar released “Not Like Us” in early May at the height of he and Drake exchanging diss tracks. “Not Like Us” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the theme song to Lamar’s ongoing victory lap.

Watch the “Not Like Us” video above.