In the new music video for Kendrick Lamar’s track ELEMENT, Lamar pays tribute to renowned American photographer Gordon Parks.
Parks was born in 1912 and passed away in 2006. He was prominent in the world of photojournalism in the 1940s through the 1970s. Parks paid particular attention to African-American, civil rights, and poverty issues.
He was the first African American photographer to work for Life and Vogue magazines, in a career that spanned fashion photography, as well as working for the government. Not only this, but he was the first to shoot and direct major Hollywood films, too. Consequently, he was the pioneer of the blaxploitation genre with his 1971 film Shaft.
Here are some side-by-side comparisons. Parks’ photos are on the left and still frames from the music video are on the right:
“The Gordon Parks Foundation is pleased to see Kendrick Lamar recognize Gordon Parks’ important photography while working at Life Magazine and honoring his legacy,” Peter W. Kunhardt Jr., the foundation’s executive director, told Okayplayer. More information about Gordon Parks is available on the Gordon Parks Foundation website.