As rappers shot standout music videos on beaches, on boats, in mansions and around cartoon houses, architectural landmarks in Fort Worth, Texas set the stage for a new Kendrick Lamar video. .
The rapper chose modern settings for the three-and-a-half-minute video that accompanies “N95,” one of the best tracks on Mr. Morale and Big StepsLamar’s latest album.
In an early scene, Kendrick descends into a cascading fountain via a long concrete staircase. Those familiar with Dallas-Fort Worth modernism will recognize the backdrop of the Wet Wall and Quiet Pool, part of the downtown Fort Worth Water Gardens. Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1974, the pools at the 4.5-acre resort invite exploration and provide respite from the Texas heat. (The outdoor theme continues with a very short sunset in the lush greenhouse at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.)
The Kimball Art Museum also makes an appearance. Lamar raps about personal authenticity and “designer bullshit” as he sits at the piano in a spacious room. This room is the Renzo Piano Pavilion (top photo), designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 2013 to complement Louis Kahn’s original 1970s museum.
To bring the film to life, Lamar and his team worked with Red Productions, a production company based in Fort Worth, Austin and Los Angeles, to shoot on location in Fort Worth and LA.
Arty Texan clichés »[are] a testament to the fact that we have these great places here and an appreciation for art in Fort Worth,” said Red Sanders, president of Red Productions, at Dallas Morning News.
The settings were selected for both architectural value and COVID compliance, Sanders explained. Red Productions, Lamar and longtime Lamar collaborator Dave Free developed the concept in 2020 when filming indoors and in public was more of a logistical and safety issue than usual.
IMDB lists Lamar and Free as co-directors of the video.
To date, “N95” is the third trending music video on YouTube and is Lamar’s most-streamed song on Spotify. Although Mr. Morale and Big Steps The album is selling well, successful releases are nothing new for the Compton, Calif.-born artist: Lamar won 14 Grammys as well as the Pulitzer Prize in Music, becoming the first rapper to win in that category.