Kendrick Lamar Reveals Why Filming 'We Cry Together' Was 'Challenging'
By Tony M. Centeno
November 29, 2022
Kendrick Lamar has been nominated for another round of Grammy awards thanks to his latest album, but he's also looking forward to possibly receiving another trophy during awards season.
During an interview Variety published on Monday, November 28, the Compton native explained the creative process behind "We Cry Together." The nearly six-minute film is easily one of the biggest visual productions from his new LP Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, and it's one of many contenders for an Oscar. Lamar explained that filming the video, in which he stars in with co-star Taylour Paige, was "challenging" for him.
“It challenged me to actually live in what I was writing, and really be there and be present with Taylour [Paige],” Lamar said. “And I remember us going back and forth and feeling like, damn, I understand this character even more because I’m evoking the energy from it and the passion from it because it’s alive, and it’s direct.”
Based on Lamar's account, one can see why it was a challenge. In the video directed by Dave Free, Lamar and the Zola star bring their intense argument to life. The film was shot in one take while using live vocal tracks. Free said that Lamar, who co-founded their pgLang imprint together, wanted "the room to feel thick, and the room to feel intense” throughout the making of the project.
“So in writing, I say, ‘OK, how can I make this feel personal, but also holding up a mirror as a collective concept, rather than just a personal concept,'” Lamar said. “I wanted to bring that drama because, at the end of the day, whether we like it or not — the good, the bad and the ugly, the pros and cons — that’s what makes everything evolve.”
"We Cry Together" has garnered nearly 4 million views since it dropped in September. Lamar's short film doesn't exceed 40 minutes and was released before September 30, which makes it eligible to qualify for Best Live Action Short at the upcoming Academy Awards. Other films that are in the running with Lamar are “38 at the Garden” from Travon Free and “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift. Oscar nominations will be announced on January 24.