This nonsense is outta hand. I can’t take it. Maybe “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is the first time I hate song-title allegorical ties to the popularity of a track. Insanely enough, I want to kill Kendrick Lamar’s vibe, just because it’s s’ohhhh October 22 of last year. Like when people were still listening to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that next summer, but it only reminded everyone of the fall that year before, and it was just fucked and weird. And now that same depressive ghost lives through Lamar. It feels dense and unavoidable. Like flipping through the stations and it’s on three of them; two playing exactly at the same time, the other playing the Jay-Z cash-out remix version. Sometimes C likes to pee alone.
zcamp, kill my vibe:
Okay, okay. I know Kendrick Lamar’s videos have a tendency towards the melodramatic. That free-fall in the “Swimming Pools” video was pretty over-the-top (although the Dumbo-esque ear jiggling helped to break the tension a bit). And although there’s something dark to be enjoyed in the Romeo + Juliet theatrics of “Poetic Justice,” you can’t help but wish that the guy could cut off the smoke machines for a while. Thankfully, there are no smoke machines in the “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video, no wistful glances offscreen, no high-strung histrionics. The proceedings may revolve around a funeral, but what a -FUN-eral it is! The self-referential jokes, the over-saturated palette, the exaggerated limousine party scenes: it all marks a goofy digression from Lamar’s typical sensibilities, one that almost appears too good to be true. But then we get that twist at the end, and you can’t help but feel unsettled, that all of the smiles and optimism were little more than an MDMA mask, covering the painful truth. And in that sense, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” works — a “gotcha” game lurking beneath the appealing aesthetics.