Music Video Review: SZA and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘All The Stars’ is a luminous spectacle

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 5:23pm

Just in time for the release of the “Black Panther” soundtrack this Friday (which looks amazing), Kendrick Lamar and SZA have shared the music video for their newest collaboration “All The Stars,” an airy single off the film’s soundtrack. Framed by an electronic dance beat and soaring vocals, the song boldly declares the grandeur that can be found in love and perseverance. It’s a song meant for royalty, perfectly matching the narrative of “Black Panther,” which is centered around African nobility.

The music video fits the film’s premise to an even stronger degree. The first shot depicts a regal Lamar standing on a boat, buoyed by a sea of waving hands; the strength of his posture makes him appear carved out of stone, a position of fortitude that he maintains as the pre-chorus of “Love, let’s talk about love / Is it anything and everything you hoped for?” leads him into the open embrace of a matriarchal figure. Her stature is surreal; larger-than-life, she looms over Lamar, protecting within the folds of her robe a crowd of children. The hue of each of their crimson hats adds to the overall splendor, and Lamar cuts a path to the group’s center like Moses parting the Red Sea.

As SZA takes over the chorus, we are taken to the heavens, zooming in on a depiction of Africa made entirely out of stars until the outline is magnified to abstraction until there is only SZA dancing amid the swirling nebula of space, as she croons “All the stars are closer.”

This music video glows. Each individual featured is costumed in bright colors and striking patterns, and their backdrops are equally vibrant: electric blue jungles and intricate gold throne rooms. “All The Stars” honors the beauty in love, in ancestry and, most importantly, in the many complexities of a cultural heritage that has often been diminished by stereotypes and generalization.