In the “Count Me Out” music video from rapper Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-nominated “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” album, the 35-year-old artist gets deep with his therapist — played by Dame Helen Mirren.
Co-directed by Lamar and pgLang co-founder Dave Free, the black-and-white video begins with Lamar seated in front of a closed piano, with Mirren’s voice calling to his attention. He turns around as the camera focuses in on Mirren. Before the music begins, they discuss an incident in which Lamar denied taking a parking spot from somebody before admitting that he did, and the two share a laugh.
As the song begins, the two split onto opposite sides of the screen, with the middle section — in full color — chronicling Lamar’s lyrics in abstract fashion. Shots include Lamar receiving a COVID test, putting on a fake smile for a toast with former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and venture capitalist Vivi Nevo along with cameos from Free, pgLang signee Tanna Leone and wife Whitney Alford. The song, structured as a therapy session with a voiceover intro from Alford, is represented in full visual form in the video — Lamar’s psyche examined, warts and all.
Mirren, who stars in the upcoming “1923” series opposite Harrison Ford and narrated the recent trailer for Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie, has already worked with Lamar in a different capacity for the new album. During the rapper’s “Big Steppers Tour,” which just wrapped its final show in New Zealand, Mirren narrates the live show, serving as a guide between a setlist that chronicles much of Lamar’s expansive discography.
“Mr. Morale” scored eight nods when nominations were revealed for the 65th Grammy Awards, including spots under best rap album and album of the year — which is Lamar’s fourth nomination in the latter category. Including “Count Me Out,” Lamar has released four music videos for the album with “N95,” “Rich Spirit” and a short film for “We Cry Together” in which he starred opposite actress Taylour Paige.
Check out the music video below.