“We Cry Together” (2022) short film with actress, singer, and rapper Taylour Paige, by Kendrick Lamar.
Rumors have been swirling for some time now. Will Kendrick Lamar be nominated at the 95th Academy Awards for Best Live Action Short Film? Since his debut in 2010, the rapper has indeed been known for paying close attention to his image and to the creation of his videos, such as the tracks Loyalty (2017), shot with Rihanna, or Humble (2017) for instance. Once again, the artist from Compton, California, displays his ability to turn his committed songs into picture without disappointing us.
It is the case with the track We Cry Together, which appears in a brand-new short film that has already been viewed more than two million times on YouTube since September 1st , 2022. Released both in a censored and uncensored version, this six- minute-long short film directed by American filmmaker Jack Schreider, the rapper's loyal collaborator Dave Free – with whom he launched a mysterious company, pgLang –, and Kendrick Lamar himself, stages a violent verbal dispute between a couple, love giving way to anger and resentment. Played by the Californian rapper and the American actress, dancer, model, singer, and rapper Taylour Paige (starring alongside actress Riley Keough in Zola), this fearsome argument is filmed in an impressive sequence-shot with the lyrics of the song as performed lines for the dialogue.
The music video of “Loyalty” (2017) featuring Rihanna by Kendrick Lamar.
Insults, screams, temptation, love, and sex punctuate this heated argument. With such an oppressive intensity, the short film We Cry Together makes us feel like insiders of the couple’s dynamic. At the peak of their talent, the two artists deliver an accurate, moving and playback-free performance that skims over reality in a fictional setting, gradually revealed by the camera’s larger perspective. Taylour Paige shared her experience with this short film to the Hollywood Reporter: “It’s an experience, you’re like a voyeur in this couple’s life. It also reflects what the world sounds like, whether it be arguing with your sibling or people on the internet…” While many fans of the rapper discovered the short film on YouTube, some were lucky enough to see it earlier this year during an exclusive screening at the Laemmle Royal Theater in Los Angeles, thus making it eligible for the Oscars.
While short films are not the most highlighted category of the ceremony, it had its hour of glory in 2018 with Dear Basketball, directed by NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, winning a statuette. If rumors about We Cry Together’s future eligibility in the Best Short Film category are true, the rapper could find himself competing with American singer Taylor Swift and her fourteen-minute film All Too Well.
We Cry Together (2022) by Kendrick Lamar is available on YouTube. Kendrick Lamar’s album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is now available on every streaming platforms.