The public finally has a chance to see the video for what many feel is the most “toxic” song of the year, “We Cry Together,” by Kendrick Lamar and actress Taylour Paige.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album dropped this year and finds the Compton rapper being deeply introspective about therapy, cancel culture, family, relationships, sexuality, the pitfalls of fame and why he has been out of the public spotlight for the last five years.
The theme of this particular song deals with a relationship two people should probably not be in. While the song may not be an accurate reflection of what Lamar’s relationship is like with his wife, Whitney Alford, it is a pretty accurate portrayal of what some toxic relationships can be like.
You may not have been in a relationship like this, but a lot of us can say we know someone who has been in a similar relationship to the one portrayed in “We Cry Together.” Dimly shot in what looks like a small house, the short film for this song is unlike a typical music video. Lamar and Paige are not doing a voice-over of the lyrics, they are acting out the song as if it was a script. The lyrics hit close to home when you see the emotion that comes out of Lamar and Paige’s performances.
When Paige says things like, “Well shit I shoulda sucked his,” you can clearly see the disgust on Lamar’s face knowing his girl wishes she was with another man.
When Lamar screams, “Man, give me these fuckin’ keys…Fuck yo’ job today gon’ be the day you walk to that bitch,” you see the annoyance on Paige’s face knowing she’s going to be late for work. I love the raw honesty, because many of the Black people I know can let you know how they feel without saying one word; all you have to do is take a look at their face and you can clearly see everything they want to say.
Similarly when Paige says, “Womanizer, got no affection for yo’ mama I see,” you can instantly see the anger in Lamar’s face when he says, “Don’t speak on my mama, the fuck is yo’ problem?” If there’s one thing that won’t fly in any argument, it’s this: do not bring up someone’s mother.
Lamar comes back later in the song and says, “Why R&B bitches don’t feature on each other songs then?” you can instantly see the confusion on Paige’s face when she asks, “What the fuck is you talkin’ bout?”
The whole scene is just very well-written and shot. I’m glad I got to see a visual representation of an already excellent song from an exceptional album. I think the reason people may find this song so uncomfortable to listen to is that it’s so real. Have you ever been out in public and seen a couple arguing? All of a sudden you see people walking away, pointing, whispering, etc. This song evokes that kind of emotion. It’s a masterclass in songwriting.