You can’t really cut corners about the gravity of Flying Lotus’s new album, YOU’RE DEAD. This is an album that unapologetically confronts and receptively celebrates the possibilities of the end, because who really knows? Flylo has been very clear that this isn’t necessarily a gloomy album for that very reason–the cosmic implications have rooted themselves tangibly into every inch of the new LP and undoubtedly into the Kendrick featuring “Never Catch Me.”
Beyond the nominally literal level, this is an album that plumbs sonic possibilities, culling a little from hip-hop, a little from jazz fusion, a little from thin air, and probes the unknown in a way that is both cerebral and visceral. The tight bassline–likely provided by Brainfeeder crony Thundercat–the skittering, near obsessive-compulsive percussion, and Kendrick’s philosophically loaded verses (that brief laugh). All parts form an overwhelming whole that is hard to suss exactly. Perhaps the enigmatic approach is the most intentional aspect of the song.
But let’s talk about this video for a second. This is a heartrending account of the daydream that every single person has in a moment of permanent loss, in whatever form it may be. This hits especially hard given the completely senseless, psychically draining year that we have had, which, as it turns out is also the main reason why Kendrick’s new single “i”–a song about loving yourself– is not nearly as schlocky as it is political. The stark disparity between the mourners and the synchronized dance of the children is jarring for its disconnect, and therein thrives the potency of the song–the uncertainty.
An accompanying music video like this is the reason that I am a fan of music. Admittedly after tearing up a bit and not knowing whether to feel grin-wide happy or downright despondent by the conclusion, I felt a twinge of triumph in the final scene as we see our co-protagonist blissfully feeling the wind against his face. Pretty sure this is one of the best songs that we’ve had so far this year.
FlyLo and Kendrick are the best right?