Kendrick Lamar returned to social media on Thursday (March 5) with a mysterious announcement: He’s launching pgLang, a multilingual, artist-friendly service company alongside his manager Dave Free that’s a record label, movie studio and publishing house combined.
It’s a language in and of itself, one Free and Lamar selflessly speak with other creatives whom they want to organically partner with. “Our community speaks different languages and breaks formats for the curious,” the pgLang website reads.
The visual mission statement found below the website’s written one stars rising rapper and Lamar’s cousin Baby Keem and Grown-ish actress Yara Shahidi, as the “Orange Soda” artist encourages her to unplug from her phone and stare at the sun with him. The actress gets lost in the same trance as him, as the present greets her.
The enthralling cinematic clip cues Keem’s “Jump 2” track when he follows his older cousin around a Brooklyn subway station. A vocally warped narrator later unpacks the concept of identity and how inauthentic selfhoods lead to suffering before showing Shahidi evaporating into the “now.” Jorja Smith also makes a cameo toward the end of the four-minute visual, as she stares at Lamar, unbothered, while leaning perfectly atop a parking lot’s street lights, and wonders what he’s thinking about.
Although Smith can’t get inside the Damn. rapper’s head, he’s outlined his simple creed for pgLang: “Selfless. Reset,” according to the press release. The oversaturated media landscape presents the wrong kind of artistic chaos that Lamar and Free want to revel in with other authors, directors, producers and others.
“Imperfections are what excite us most. We want to work with those who can see the beauty in anything,” the release says. “Someone could walk in and say this black phone is blue. That’s cool — we want to hear your perspective.”
Baby Keem is the first artist to partner with pgLang, and he hopes to push the envelope further with his “astronaut ideas.”
“That is what I call the sh– that I know I want but that stand alone. You know? Like, not everything has to ‘make sense’ to me in a rational way,” he said in the release. “This is how my mind stays fresh, by letting myself have my astronaut ideas and developing them even though it might confuse anyone else.”
Watch the pgLang mission visual and shop the limited-edition merch here.