At the end of a year dominated by Kendrick Lamar—whose To Pimp a Butterfly earned 11 Grammy nominations and the top spot on many critics’ best albums lists—Lamar has released yet another video for two tracks off the album. Both halves of the video are intensely trippy, but the similarities end there.
For “U,” Lamar drinks and writhes in a cage-like liquor cellar, creating a scene that’s as intimate, rough, and desperate as the song itself. The NSFW second half of the video pairs the smooth, jazzy interlude “For Sale?” with baptism imagery, close-ups of topless models, and jarring subliminal messages (well, almost subliminal). The study in contrasts is just the latest evidence that Lamar’s videos are as ambitious as his rhymes.