The visually stunning video for Kendrick Lamar‘s “Element” from his 2017 album DAMN. was critically acclaimed for its artistic vision, and now it will be honored in a new way.
The video paid homage to the work of legendary photographer, musician, and director Gordon Parks, recreating several of his most famous images, including Boy With Junebug, Untitled, and Ethel Sharrieff, as well as select photos from Parks’ 1948 photo series Harlem Gang Leader.
“Gordon Parks’ work is continuing to have a great impact on young people—and particularly on artists like Kendrick, who use the power of imagery to examine issues related to social justice and race in our country,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., executive director of The Gordon Parks Foundation in a statement. “With ‘Element’ the music video, Kendrick has helped to call attention to one of the most important artists of our time.”
“I’m so inspired that my friend Kendrick Lamar chose the iconic imagery of the legendary Gordon Parks in his video for ‘Element,’” says Swizz Beatz in the same statement. “It’s a prime example of how contemporary change makers—artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers—can borrow from the greats of the past who were also working towards social change.”
The visual for “Element” was released back in June 2017 as a product of director Jonas Lindstroem with creative direction from The Little Homies (Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free). It was lauded for its creative imagery; viewers immediately saw the correlations between Lamar’s video and the past work of Parks, and acknowledged them on social media.
Check out the video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” below. And for more information about Element: Gordon Parks and Kendrick Lamar, visit the official website here.