The Internet rightfully went nuts when the video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” dropped a couple days ago, a high-flying beast of a video confident enough to say that even amid police brutality and racial tension in the US, we all gon’ be alright.
Many of us are already calling this video of the year material, and we have so many questions: how is Kendrick flying through the city like that? Whose idea was it to have the police carrying the car with all of Black Hippy inside? ARE WE EVER GONNA HEAR THE FULL VERSION OF THAT SONG SNIPPET?!? MTV News was lucky enough to score an interview with video co-director Colin Tilley, who gave insight into the video’s look, its message, and working with Kendrick and his manager Dave Free to bring the vision to life.
On the car shot and new song at the beginning:
Well, you know what’s crazy? The intro where Kendrick, Schoolboy, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock are all in the car and we make that big reveal where the cops are holding up the car. We were talking about this specific image with everything that’s going on right now with the police and we kind of got to that point where we were sitting down with each other and we were talking about this big reveal with Kendrick and the guys being held up by cops like a carriage or something.
But the crazy part is, when we’re sitting there, all of a sudden, Kendrick was like, “Hold on, man. I’m totally hearing something completely different for this right now.” He’s like, “I’m gonna write this song and we’ll send it to you tonight. But we’ll do this song as a segment before the video even starts.” So, they sent me the song like two days later and we continued to build on it.
On Kendrick floating through the city:
For me, it comes back to the hero. The whole world we created is like a fantasy, a dream world. When Kendrick’s floating through the city, that’s him being like a superhero to these kids, him being something these kids can aspire towards. So, when they look up, it’s almost like it’s Superman, but it’s this world we created.
So, I wanted to get these kids’ reactions so we can feel the impact Kendrick’s creating on the streets around him.
On the ending scene:
It shows that, at the end of the day, we’re all human and that nobody’s untouchable…Whenever anyone’s life is being played with – whether it’s on camera or in real life – it’s a touchy subject. So, that’s why we chose to make it more of a fantasy and make it more like a dream – not necessarily a good dream or a bad dream. In that particular scene, it’s definitely a bad dream. So, we didn’t want to use a real gun. I felt like the police with his fingers as a gun was much more powerful.