Kendrick Lamar blessed fans with his long-awaited return on Sunday, releasing his first music as a lead artist since 2018 with “The Heart Part 5.” The track quickly began trending on social media with many praising the quality content he’s put out. However, it appears following it’s release, he faced accusations of ripping off the music video concept for “The Heart Part 5.”
The accompanying video found the Compton native morphing into Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, OJ Simpson and Jussie Smollett via deepfake technology. The clip was directed by Kendrick himself alongside his longtime collaborator/pgLang co-founder Dave Free.
Soon after the video was released on YouTube, a New Jersey rapper by the name of AK took to social media to accuse the Pulitzer Prize-winning MC of stealing his idea. AK, whose real name is Austin Kassabian, claimed Kendrick copied the deepfake concept of his “Family Tree” video, which was released in September 2020.
AK’s black-and-white clip shows him rapping into the camera in front of a blank backdrop as his face morphs into rappers such as Lil Wayne, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, JAY-Z and, coincidentally, Kendrick Lamar. AK said in a video posted to Instagram.
“Kendrick Lamar’s new music video is an exact copy of my video from 2020 of my song ‘Family Tree, Maybe I’m fooling myself for thinking that Kendrick saw my video and was like, ‘Damn, that’s so good that I want to do it myself.’”
But I was under Universal; he is under Universal. I did that video in 2020 with Universal. Obviously, the song didn’t do as good as if Kendrick was to do it, but the concept was so sick and I fucking don’t know, but it’s the same exact thing — it’s a backdrop, it’s him in front of it, it’s one take.”
Meanwhile, Lamar has yet to respond to AK’s claims. This is a developing story, we will be on the lookout for more updates. Stay tuned to Thirsty. You can check out Kendrick and AK’s version of the video in the space below.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments.