Kendrick Lamar and SZA made jaws drop upon the release of their collaborative single “All The Stars” last month. The slick, catchy tune–released as part of the soundtrack for the upcoming Black Panther film (Black Panther: The Album)–now has an equally enthralling music video, directed by Dave Meyers, to accompany it.
The music video does more than justice in complementing the poppy single’s slick beats, breathtaking–as per usual–vocals from SZA, and powerful lyrics. Lamar isn’t one to disappoint when it comes to delivering excellent visuals–his previous albums have been lauded for their cinematic quality–and “All the Stars” is no exception. The music video, which features various combinations of dance, fashion, and visual arts that take cues from multiple cultures and countries across the African continent, is an enticing look into the aesthetics that the much-anticipated Black Panther film will likely offer.
The video opens with a grand, almost-ominous shot of Lamar sailing on a boat through a sea of disembodied arms, lending him a solitary yet kingly air typical of his brand. Throughout the video we are given a sense of him travelling vast expanses and long distances–through slums and savannas, surrounded by corrugated roofs and tangled electric wires; ashen forests teeming with literal black panthers running alongside him; and ostentatious gilded throne rooms–all the while meeting a wide array of people, from children in colourful traditional garb, to dancers wearing traditional African straw hats and Converse shoes, through to statuesque, immense goddesses bedecked in luxurious beaded jewellery, incredible makeup and royal outfits showcasing the diverse spectrum of styles and cultures in Africa.
All this is elegantly juxtaposed with peppy, opulent clips of SZA dancing, goddess-like, amongst a universe of stars whilst wearing a regal red-and-black dress fit for a queen; or lying down surrounded by bright, kaleidoscopic tribal patterns and backup dancers dressed in flamingo-inspired feathery costumes; or in a blue jungle accompanied by stoic, graceful warriors.
Both the beauty and power of Africa are reflected in this music video by its vivacious visuals and compelling cast of characters, no doubt following in the footsteps of Black Panther, which is already being praised for not only providing representation for Africa’s diverse cultures and people, but also in celebrating them and inspiring.
The music video’s release comes at the heels of Lamar’s and SZA’s recent Grammy wins and nominations as well as announcements regarding the track listing of the Black Panther soundtrack, which includes a collaboration with The Weeknd that had also been released recently.