Images that Speak on Kendrick Lamar’s Element


Images that Speak on Kendrick Lamar’s Element

by Febrina Anindita


Words: Fransisca Bianca
Photos: XXL

A picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Kendrick Lamar’s new video for “Element,” perhaps the moving imagery that are based on the works of photojournalist Gordon Parks is worth more than just words; they’re worth emotions. The video definitely went the extra mile to create an accurate visualization of Element’s lyrics, which are the further exploration of the dynamics of black communities in the US.

The use of Parks’ iconic photographs (such as the row of black nuns dressed in white) could only be done justice by the lyrics. Through this song, the messages and emotions behind Park’s photographs are witnessed to come to live—of course, one of the reasons being that the photographs are shown to be not motionless and lively. But moreover, the emotions behind the photographs are emphasized along with Elements, with the words morphing together with the imageries, creating a whole new perspective on the issue while also keeping the feel of the rawness and originality of the images.

With the ever-evolving concepts for his recent videos, Kendrick Lamar presents his audience with this aesthetic piece of ‘moving’ tribute to the black culture. And this song definitely does justice not only in addressing sensitive social issues, but also bringing Parks’ imageries into notice to celebrate its emotions and presence of identity. whiteboardjournal, logo