Humble (song)

Last updated
"Humble"
Humble kendrick lamar.jpg
Single by Kendrick Lamar
from the album Damn
ReleasedMarch 30, 2017
Recorded2016
Genre
Length2:57 [1]
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Kendrick Lamar singles chronology
"Goosebumps"
(2016)
"Humble"
(2017)
"Perfect Pint"
(2017)
Music video
"Humble" on YouTube

"Humble" (stylized as "HUMBLE.") is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on March 30, 2017, by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The song was written by Lamar and Mike Will Made It, and produced by the latter. [5] It was provided to rhythmic contemporary radio as the lead single from Lamar's fourth studio album, Damn . [6] "Humble" is Lamar's second number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 after "Bad Blood" and his first as a lead artist. The song received four nominations at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, including, Record of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video, winning the latter three. [7]

Contents

Recording

"Humble" was the first song to be recorded for Damn. [8] The beat for "Humble" was developed by Mike Will Made It, with the intention of recording the song with Gucci Mane. However, the song was later shown to Lamar. After recording, it was initially agreed upon that it would be released on Mike Will Made It's debut album Ransom 2 , but others convinced Lamar to keep it for his upcoming album. [8]

Critical reception

On the day of its release Pitchfork named it Best New Track, noting that, "[Humble] is a hard-nosed G check of his lessers, that pivots into imperfect critiques of beauty standards". [9] NPR's Andrew Flanagan thought, "the song, less exploration of contrition on the part of Lamar than an instruction to his peers, picks up a thread NPR Music first examined following that album teaser: how the 'best rapper alive' might explore the theme of God, religion and personal growth." [10] For Alex Young of Consequence of Sound , "it's got all the ingredients of a proper lead single: a Mike WiLL Made It-produced beat built on piano and 808 bass, a chorus you can spit along to ('Sit down/ Be humble'), and shoutouts to Grey Poupon and the former president." [11] Writing for The Guardian , Harriet Gibson explained how the song is, "sparse and rigid, beginning with the crunching swipes of an electric guitar, and is led by beats and sinister stabs of piano. It is a showcase for his authoritative lyricism and preacher-like message, while the instrumentation is far from the complex jazz and funk sounds of To Pimp a Butterfly ... In fact, Humble has more in common with grime's minimalism than it does the vintage stylings of his recent output." [12]

Entertainment Weekly labelled it the best song of the year. [13] Rolling Stone considered it the third-best, [14] and Billboard the sixth. [15]

Chart performance

"Humble" debuted at number two and later peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Lamar's first number one and highest-charting single as a lead artist, surpassing "Swimming Pools (Drank)", which peaked at number 17 in 2012. [16] [17] It is his second number one single overall after "Bad Blood", by Taylor Swift featuring Lamar. It is also his fourth top 10 single, and marked the highest debut for a hip hop song since "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna. Selling well over 111,000 copies in its first week, "Humble" became Kendrick Lamar's second number one on the Digital Songs chart, following "Bad Blood". [16] The song spent its first 15 weeks in the top 10 of the Hot 100 before finally falling to number 11 on the week dated August 5, 2017 [18] "Humble" is the only rap song in 2017 to sell over 1,000,000 digital copies and its certified 7× platinum in the United States. [19]

The song also peaked at number one in New Zealand, number two in Australia (where it was later voted into first place in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2017) and Canada, and reached the top 10 in Ireland and the UK.

Music video

Kendrick Lamar dressed in all white in contrast to the black-clothed people lit on fire around him. Kendrick Lamar Humble Music Video.jpg
Kendrick Lamar dressed in all white in contrast to the black-clothed people lit on fire around him.

The song's accompanying music video was released on March 30, 2017 on Kendrick Lamar's Vevo account. The video was directed by Dave Meyers and The Little Homies. [20] The video starts with Lamar dressed like the pope in a cope, the scene then shows Lamar in all black lying on a table of money, "ignorantly" shooting loads of bills from a cash cannon. It also features a reenactment of Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century painting, The Last Supper . Lamar sits in Jesus' chair as his disciples "unappreciatively" gorge on wine and bread. [21] He is also seen teeing off on top of a car, passing mustard between cars mimicking a Grey Poupon commercial and at one point the top of his head is in flames. [22] Fellow TDE rapper Jay Rock and producer Sounwave appear in the video alongside other TDE members.

Reviewing the music video, Billboard editor Brad Wete thought it "is a poignant exercise in irony and is also filled with messaging that could be perceived as anti-conformist." He concluded saying "His raps are filterless; he tells it like it is. So it's no surprise that this dynamic video is essentially what Lamar is as an artist: balanced with a clear message." [21] Althea Legaspi of Rolling Stone described it as "richly symbolic." [22] For Harriet Gibson of The Guardian , "the brilliantly cinematic video, with its fish-eye lens and cartoonish stylising, recalls classic Hype Williams, and leads the viewer through these passages of assignation, fleshing out Lamar's ideas. It breathes life into a song that would hardly be considered his greatest creation, but neatly lays out a mood of intent." [12] Matt Miller of Esquire opined about the rapper's videography: "in recent years, Kendrick Lamar has revived the music video as a powerful form of social commentary." [23]

"Humble" was nominated for eight categories at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, winning six awards including Video of the Year.

Usage in media

ESPN and ABC used the song, along with "DNA" and "Loyalty", as their lead song for their NBA Playoff coverage.

The 21st season premiere of South Park , "White People Renovating Houses", featured a character performing the song in a country-style parody. [24] [25] [26] The song is also heard in other television shows such as Skam and Black-ish. [27] [28]

"Humble" is featured and remixed in YouTube Rewind: The Shape of 2017 . [29] "Humble" is also featured on NBA 2K18 ’s in-game soundtrack.

The song was sampled by Eminem for the track "Greatest" on Kamikaze . [30]

A remix of the song is also featured in the teaser trailer for Shazam! [ citation needed ]

Remixes

Many remixes have been made, including by singer Ne-Yo, released on May 3, 2017, [31] and by electronic dance music producer Skrillex, released on September 22, 2017. [32]

Live performances

Lamar performed "Humble" live as a closer [33] at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 23, 2017. [34] [35] Lamar has also performed "Humble" on the Damn tour. [36] Lamar performed the song during his 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Lamar also performed the song as part of his special performance at halftime of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Awards

YearOrganizationAwardResultRef.
2017 MTV Video Music Awards Video of the Year Won [37]
Best Hip-Hop Video Won
Best Direction Won
Best Choreography Nominated
Best Visual Effects Won
Best Art Direction Won
Best Cinematography Won
BET Hip Hop Awards Best Hip Hop VideoWon
Impact TrackNominated
Single of the YearNominated
UK Music Video Awards Best Urban Video InternationalNominated
Best Production Design in a VideoNominated
Vevo Must See AwardNominated
Soul Train Music Awards Rhythm & Bars Award Nominated [38]
American Music Awards Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song Nominated [39]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Video Won [40]
2018 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Song Won [41]
Grammy Awards Record of the Year Nominated [42]
Best Rap Performance Won
Best Rap Song Won
Best Music Video Won
iHeartRadio Music Awards Hip-Hop Song of the YearNominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite SongNominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Hot 100 Song Nominated
Top Streaming Song (Audio) Won
Top Rap Song Nominated
BET Awards Video of the Year Nominated
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Nominated

Track listing

Digital download [43]
No.TitleLength
1."HUMBLE."2:57
Digital download - SKRILLEX remix [44]
No.TitleLength
1."HUMBLE." (Skrillex Remix)2:36

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the official Damn digital booklet. [2]

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [103] 5× Platinum350,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Belgium (BEA) [104] Platinum30,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [105] 7× Platinum560,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) [106] Platinum90,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
France (SNEP) [107] Platinum133,333Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Germany (BVMI) [108] Gold200,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Italy (FIMI) [109] 2× Platinum100,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
New Zealand (RMNZ) [110] 3× Platinum90,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Portugal (AFP) [111] 3× Platinum30,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Sweden (GLF) [112] Platinum40,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
United Kingdom (BPI) [113] 2× Platinum1,200,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
United States (RIAA) [114] 7× Platinum7,000,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png

*sales figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone

    Release history

    RegionDateFormatVersionLabelRef.
    VariousMarch 30, 2017 Digital download Original [43]
    United StatesApril 4, 2017 Rhythmic contemporary radio [6]
    May 16, 2017 Contemporary hit radio [115]
    VariousSeptember 22, 2017Digital download Skrillex remix [44]

    See also

    Related Research Articles

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