Kendrick Lamar Talks Drawing Inspiration From Busta Rhymes & Missy Elliott


From “Humble” to “Element,” Kendrick’s DAMN videos have possessed excellent cinematography across the board. With every drop, K. Dot further proves that he’s firing on all artistic cylinders. The man is multimedia with it. One has to wonder, is there anything he can’t do? From the sound it, the cinematic vision was always present. Like many the game’s auteurs, Kendrick simply drew on the foundation set by the visionaries yore. 

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In a recent interview with Billboard, Kendrick reveals his his biggest inspirations where music videos are concerned. He reflects on his childhood memories perusing BET, stating “I’d be on the phone with Dave — you know my partner that does the videos with me — and we’d be watching Missy Elliott videos back in high school, and Busta Rhymes videos. They were always big inspirations.” One might recall Busta’s outlandish video for “Break Ya Neck,” which featured a Revenant-eque bout man vs nature as Busta goes head to head with a mountain goat.

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He elaborates, stating “So by the time we got to the point where we can mass produce visuals on that level, we said to each other “We all in,” and that we’ve been waiting for this moment. So, I think it’s something that always inspired us to do it, just being a student and always appreciating somebody being willing to put full impact and full ideas not only into the songs, but when you’re watching the songs.”

Coincidentally enough, both Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott recently teamed up to deliver one the Super Bowl’s more memorable ads. Perhaps their aptitude for wild music videos was what drew Doritos and Mountain Dew to them in the first place. For more from Kendrick, including his future aspirations to hit the courts for the next celebrity NBA All Star Game, check out the interview in full here.