Directed by Berlin photographer Jonas Lindstroem and The Little Homies—the duo of Kendrick Lamar and TDE president Dave Free—the visuals for "ELEMENT." are as stunningly captivating as Kendrick's previously-released videos for DAMN. singles "HUMBLE." and "DNA."
The Little Homies, who Yoh wrote last year have the best creative vision in rap, specialize in delivering imagery that cannot escape the mind. Long after you click out of YouTube, elements of the "ELEMENT." video—such as the house on fire, the black man being beaten, and a black man in a hoodie freefalling from the roof of an abandoned building—are seared into your memory.
"These are the elements of Compton," explains DJBooth's Yoh. "Each clip represents the world Kendrick sees. If you view 'ELEMENT.' from an environmental angle, it's like you can take Kendrick out of Compton but you can't take the Compton out of Kendrick. So you get the aggression, a place where boys are taught to throw fist and fight from an early age. It's ingrained. The video sorta reminds me of the GKMC short film that was taken off the internet a few years ago."
Based on Spotify streaming statistics, "ELEMENT." is the fifth most popular track (87M) on DAMN., following "HUMBLE." (360M), "DNA." (169M), "LOVE." (103M), and "LOYALTY." (102M).