Kendrick Lamar is consistently putting out some of the best videos in rap. At this point, that isn't even really an opinion anymore. He has piles of awards and nearly unanimous critical praise to back it up. So, what inspired him to put so much of a focus on his music videos?
Sitting down with Billboard during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, Kendrick explained how he and Top Dawg Entertainment president Dave Free used to sit around watching BET in high school. they used to talk to each other about wanting to make videos like Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes one day.
"I think from the jump it's always been crucial to me," he said. "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," Kendrick continued. "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."
Once his career took off, Kendrick jumped at the chance to work with the director behind so many of his favorite Missy Elliott videos: Dave Meyers. Lamar, Free, and Meyers formed the directing team "Dave Meyers and the little homies" behind the majority of his videos.
"Shout out to Dave Meyers," Kendrick told Billboard. "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."
If you haven't yet seen their latest creation, the "King's Dead" video, make sure to watch that below.
For a peek at the kind of videos Kendrick was inspired by, continue for the Dave Meyers-directed Missy Elliott video "Get Ur Freak On."