It was impossible to guess what Kendrick Lamar had in store for his "Poetic Justice" video, but the Compton rapper has debuted a perfectly haunting visual that furthers the cinematic experience he's been weaving on good kid, m.A.A.d city.
The clip opens in Los Angeles' famed Crenshaw neighborhood, on what could be Friday or Saturday night, with a young crowd — including Black Hippy's Jay Rock and even Dom Kennedy — hanging around their cars, drinking 40s, smoking and playing dice, before we're introduced to the object of Kendrick's affection.
The scenes are shot in slow motion, which really helps viewers feel the chilled-out vibe of the night, before distaste strikes. Moments after Kendrick flirtatiously greets his girl, gunshots send everyone ducking and K-Dot running to protect her — but he's too late.
Fans are left with the haunting visual of Kendrick laid out in the street, on top of his girl, riddled with gunshots in his attempt to cover her. The phone in his hand keeps ringing as Drake tries to get in touch, but he never will.
When MTV News caught up with Kendrick on the set back in December, he pleaded with Janet Jackson for a cameo in the video, since he sampled her song "Any Time, Any Place" to create something new. "Janet, c'mon, Janet. No paperwork with the managers, contact the managers," he said at the time. "This is artist to artist." Obviously that didn't work out, but even without Janet, the video is a memorable one.
What do you think of Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" video? Let us know in the comments!