LIFE: Happy Birthday Kendrick Lamar! Directing “A.D.H.D.” Music Video

In honor of Kendrick Lamar‘s 29th Birthday, here’s a flashback post of when I directed this Gemini man’s music video for Section.80-featured favorite, “A.D.H.D”.

It was blazing hot summer — July 23rd of 2011 to be exact — when two days of directing Kendrick Lamar’s song “A.D.H.D.” occurred. He was then just an “up and coming unknown,” at least to the masses. His mixtape had come to my attention by my manager Jonny Shipes. He told me he was working with Kendrick and his team and that if I was interested in directing a song off his mixtape, Mr. Lamar and camp would be down. I gave a listen to the mixtape Section.80 and was hooked.

It was more like, “what song DON’T I want to direct a video for?!”. Anyways, my emo self felt super connected to “A.D.H.D.” and brought my loner lonliness and I wanted to explore that more visually.

We had little to no budget, but that didn’t phase me. Not only do I funtion best in my D.I.Y. mode, but the song was so powerful – I would have paid them to let me direct it. Working with passion and inspiration is an incredible high always. When you are so obsessed with making and finishing something, that normal necessities like food and sleep seem to not even exist.

I remember him being quiet and when he did speak, he was an absolute happy, smiling sweetheart. Kind and warm. Definitely in his head, but not to the point where he was unconscious of those around him.

When we were discussing the concept I wrote for the video, his team said they wanted pills and alcohol in the video. I wasn’t so into the gratuitous visuals, but when I asked Kendrick if he drank, smoked or did pills and he replied “no” to all – I thought it would be even better if we didn’t see those elements.

Dave Free, Kendrick’s manager to the left in white.

I was also sporting some extra baby phat back then… if you couldn’t tell!

Me and my DP Wesley Clouden

HAPPY 29th BIRTHDAY KENDRICK! So stoked I was able to work with you early on and even more thankful for all the REAL ART you make.

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