In the latest visual release for Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” Lamar finds himself in therapy with none other than the legendary Helen Mirren. The music video for “Count Me Out,” which debuted on Dec. 16, begins with black-and-white footage of a watch ticking, followed by Mirren’s voice calling out “Kendrick? Kendrick . . . did you hear that Kendrick?” to a weary looking Lamar, slumped over a piano. “My apologies, I thought my time was up,” he responds, turning to face the concerned-looking actor.
The two continue speaking, flashing back and forth between the current moment and past memories depicted in full color. In a flashback, Lamar recounts an altercation with a woman who insists he stole her parking spot, asking why he did it, while he denies taking the spot at all. But in a conversation with Mirren, he admits, “I did take her parking spot.”
“You texted me at 2 o’clock in the morning, ‘I feel like I’m fallen,'” Mirren eventually prompts him, the conversation growing more serious. “Why’d you feel that way?” Lamar looks at her and responds simply: “Life.” Finally, he begins to rap with Mirren in view the entire time, listening and reacting to her client’s innermost sentiments.
The video, codirected by Lamar and Dave Free, is the fourth visual project Lamar has released from his latest record, joining “N95,” “We Cry Together,” “Rich Spirit, and “The Heart Part 5,” which is nominated for best music video at the 2023 Grammy Awards.