On Tuesday, Kendrick Lamar shared the black and white video for "Alright". He flies around, raps atop a traffic light, and ultimately, smiles as he meets his end. In an attempt to unpack what’s happening in the video, MTV sat down with director Colin Tilley.
Tilley discussed the origins of the intro—the part where Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock are carried by police officers—which features a new verse from Lamar. Apparently, while Tilley and Lamar were discussing the imagery of having cops carry the car, Lamar came up with some new music on the spot.
…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.
Tilley also discussed some of the clip’s symbolism. Lamar is supposed to represent a Superman-like figure—a superhero in the sky that kids "aspire towards". He also discusses Lamar’s smile at the end:
Well, you know, it’s all a dream world. So, he’s really saying, “Everything is still gonna be alright.” At the end, really, when he smiled, we were all playing around with the fact that we should just have the chorus come back like, “We gon’ be alright!” But then it would have just kept going. But like I said, it’s really all about the positivity.
Read the full interview. Here’s the video: