Frogtoon Music
"Alright" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, taken from his third studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Lyrically a festive song about hope amid personal struggles, it features uncredited vocals from the song's co-producer Pharrell Williams during the chorus. "Alright" was released to radio stations as the album's fourth single on June 30, 2015. Most music publications considered it among the best songs and videos of the year, highlighting their message in the social context of the time. "Alright" received four nominations at the 58th Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, winning the latter two. It was also nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. The song was associated with Black Lives Matter after several youth-led protests were heard chanting the chorus, with some publications such as Rolling Stone, People, and Complex calling "Alright" the "unifying soundtrack" of the movement. In 2019, it was named the best song of the 2010s by Pitchfork. It was performed by Lamar in the Super Bowl LVI halftime show on February 13, 2022. After creating the beat, Pharrell Williams came up with a hook six months later, which inspired Lamar to find the right lyrics. The hook, "We gon' be alright!" allowed Lamar to use the symbolism inherent to spur the rest of the song's lyrics that eventually resonated with an entire movement. In an interview with MTV News, Lamar said it was inspired by his trip to South Africa, witnessing other people's problems in the country: "their struggle was ten times harder." The track opens with lines from Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "Alls my life, I had to fight". Lamar introduced the character "Lucy", who plays an essential role in the remainder of the album. According to the lyrics, as Lamar gets bigger so does Lucy: "ain't a profit big enough to feed you". At the end of the track, Lamar talks about his suicidal thoughts once in a hotel room "I didn't wanna self-destruct... The evils of Lucy was all around me." For music critics a "celebration of being alive", Lamar described "Alright" as message of hope. The song begins as a spoken-word treatise before exploding into a shapeshifting portrait of America that brings in jazz horns, skittering drum beats and Lamar's mellifluous rapping as he struggles with troubles and temptations. Musically, it features marching band propulsion and a jazz band's breezy reeds. For his sole production credit, Pharrell Williams, who made the track with Digi+Phonics' member Sounwave, sings the hook. Lamar was spotted filming the song's music video on Treasure Island in San Francisco, California and atop a traffic light pole in Los Angeles, California. It was released on Lamar's Vevo page on June 30, 2015. The seven-minute-long clip, directed by Colin Tilley and The Little Homies, was filmed entirely in black-and-white. The music video starts by showing shots of life in a neighborhood. A young African-American man is seen lying on the ground and Lamar begins speaking. Police and destruction flood the scene as the music starts, and Lamar begins rapping a new verse alongside his Black Hippy cohorts (ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock), in a car carried by four police officers. During the video, Lamar flies through California, while his crew is throwing out money to everybody and dancers perform in the streets. At the end of the music video, Lamar stands on a lamppost and a policeman shoots him down. The rapper falls to the ground finishing his monologue from the beginning of the video, but ends the clip with a smile. Pitchfork ranked it as the best music video of 2015, highlighting "Lamar's own flight above the streets of L.A., his inner-city Icarus providing one of the most arresting – and liberating – images of the year." Consequence of Sound listed the video at number one on its "Top 5 Music Videos of 2015", concluding "The video works as a microcosm of the sad and wretched state of many cities: crooked cops, burning cars, abandoned buildings, and bleak backdrops of an urban sprawl. It's powerful, harrowing, bleak, and hopeful all at once." Spin also listed the clip atop its "The 25 Best Music Videos of 2015". Eric Ducker for Rolling Stone wrote "Lamar emerges as a charismatic but vulnerable superhero, flying through the city and doing donuts in a parking lot as a kid gleefully sits shotgun," and also commended the director Colin Tilley's work, "he creates a starker experience befitting one of the most ambitious albums by a major artist in recent history. Tilley rises to the challenge of matching Lamar's beautifully complex and conflicted vision." The editor listed it at number six on his best music videos of 2015 article. Slant Magazine staff named it the 4th best video of the year. The music video received seven nominations at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, Best Male Video and Best Direction, ultimately winning the latter. Furthermore, it received a nomination for Grammy Award for Best Music Video. Kendrick Lamar made a cameo in a promo ad for ABC sitcom Black-ish. A minute-long clip was released featuring Lamar's song in a music video the show's Johnson kids create to become an "overnight viral sensation." The remainder of the promo ad moves into a music video setting where the Black-ish casts raps along to "Alright" while Lamar himself sits on the family couch munching on snacks. On January 25, 2016, the Grammys released a promotional video where Compton residents rap along to "Alright" before Lamar joins them at the end. This song was featured during the end credits of The First Purge. "Alright" contains additional vocals performed by Pharrell Williams, Candace Wakefield and Thundercat. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.