Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” Video Broken Down By Its Director, Colin Tilley

Days after the release of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” music video, a number of questions have arose concerning the video’s imagery, music, and more. To assist in answering a few of those questions, the video’s co-director, Colin Tilley spoke with MTV News about the newly-released visual.

One of the first topics discussed was the record Kendrick raps along to while he and his fellow TDE lyricists are sitting in a car being held up by police officers. According to Tilley, the idea to incorporate another song in the video came to K-Dot as they were discussing that scene.

He later revealed that it took the rapper only two days to complete the song.

“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,” Colin Tilley said. “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.”

Another scene discussed by Tilley was the one in which Kendrick is shot while standing on a light pole. He explained that that particular scene shows that despite a person’s fame or clout, “nobody’s untouchable.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

Tilley also revealed the reason why Kendrick smiles after being shot. Fitting with the song, he says it’s Kendrick’s way of letting everyone know that things are going to be alright.

“Well, you know, it’s all a dream world,” the director said. “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. The video starts off so dark and it just progresses and gets lighter and lighter as it goes.”

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