I get by with beats, words, and design.
What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?
“The sky is falling, the wind is calling stand for something, or die in the morning” -Kendrick Lamar
What is your favourite typeface?
Anything on Typewolf
Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?
Music production, emceeing, breaking, graffiti, djing
What is the most intense deadline you’ve had to make?
Library returns. Those late fees are no joke.
“Alright” Verse 2
The project visualizes Kendrick Lamar’s second verse from his song “Alright” through expressive type in motion. By syncing the lyrics with the song, the listener gains a deeper understanding of the message while simultaneously bringing the musicality of Lamar’s emceeing to light. In hopes of properly representing Lamar’s unique conceptual approach to his work, the project was created with attention to the song’s context within his album and society at large.
The project uses typographic contrast and motion to mimic the delivery and message behind Lamar’s verse. Taking inspiration from the album’s cover design and the song’s official music video, the majority of the colour palette is greyscale. 3D modeled objects, such as a house and a car, are used to support the impact of the lyrics.
The story of “Alright” is hope in the face of eternal struggle. Kendrick Lamar tells the listener that no matter how bad things get—“we gon’ be alright.” It’s a stand out track from his Grammy award-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly, which explores personal and political themes of “African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination.” Since the track’s debut, it has been associated with social movements such as Black Lives Matter, where participants have been caught on video chanting the chorus.
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly Album Cover
In the second verse of “Alright” Kendrick Lamar raps from two perspectives, himself and the voice of Lucy (Lucifer). Lucy tries to seduce Lamar into greed, but Lamar prevails in his unwillingness to fall into temptaion—a true representation of strength in the face of eternal struggle.
Driving The Narrative
Using type and motion, the narrative is driven by bringing attention to Lamar’s message and musicality. The type is set in Laurentian Std Semi-bold. Laurentian’s x-height and weight allows the viewer to quickly read at the pace of his fast delivery. A serif font was chosen as it best represents Lamar’s masterful skills as a writer and storyteller. Delivery of the lyrics are broken up into contrasting segments. Typographic contrast is created primarily with size and tracking, while motion contrast occurs through directional changes in position and scale.
Adding To The Message
The visuals add to Lamar’s message by displaying his lyrics in sync with the each word of the song. This pairing disrupts the listening experience to bring awareness to Lamar’s flow. For example, in the second half of the verse he raps several lines without pausing for a breath. To mimic this uninterrupted delivery, the text occurs along one continuous line.