Kendrick Lamar is known to largely keep his personal life outside of the public eye–except when it comes to his music. On Friday (Dec. 16), he released the music video for his Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers deep cut, “Count Me Out,” depicting the Compton artist in a piano-side therapy session with Oscar award-winning actress Helen Mirren.
Directed by Lamar and pgLang cofounder Dave Free, the video begins with a skit about Lamar taking a woman’s parking spot, before presenting a three-way split screen, showing the “HUMBLE” rapper rattling off his innermost thoughts on one side, Mirren with a steady gaze of empathy on the other, and in the middle, the scenes he describes playing out, including shots of Lamar’s partner, Whitney Alford.
The video and lyrics touch on themes of frustration, growth, infidelity and ego, staying true to the color scheme surrounding Lamar’s Big Steppers tour — black, white and red — as well as themes of life and death. Mirren’s vocals were also used in transitional moments during Lamar’s tour set.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers released in May and debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, with 295,500 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 19, according to Luminate. The album earned Lamar Grammy nominations for both album of the year and best rap album, with “Die Hard” with Blxst and Amanda Reifer up for best best melodic rap performance. He also received a whopping four nominations for “The Heart Part 5” in categories including record of the year and song of the year.