Watch Don Cheadle and Kendrick Lamar Lip Sync Battle In the 'DNA' Video

“DNA” is the most relentlessly rapped track on Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., an album that plays like a deep, critical exhale from the intensity of To Pimp a Butterfly. The song now has a video, where we find Kendrick—a pretty good actor—locked in an interrogation room with another pretty good actor, Don Cheadle, who jokes, “Kendrick Lamar. Two first names, huh? The fuck is up with that?” (I can relate.) And then, “You know what DNA stands for? Dead Nigger Association.”


A godlike transfer of energy turns Cheadle into a possessed Kendrick puppet with impressively good rap hands. Kendrick, calmly controlling the situation from his chair, is then metaphorically rapping to himself, an appropriate treatment for an aggressive song about one’s own greatness. The second half of the video is split between a car full of women on a joyride and shots of Kendrick hanging with his boys in uniform as his alter ego Kung Fu Kenny. I believe Don Cheadle should get an award for this and that it won’t be long before these two are in an actual movie together.

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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zap rowsdower

Yes! This song and video are amazing and I don’t have to feel “ugh but that hotepish line...” guilt.