The story of Kendrick Lamar’s crown of thorns
(Credit: YouTube still)


The story of Kendrick Lamar's crown of thorns

The crown of thorns is a symbol that carries a lot of meaning and significance both historically and metaphorically. Used in biblical imagery and in secular pop culture, there is a meaning behind the crown of thorns that can be used in a number of different ways, and Kendrick Lamar has decided to take it on as a part of the imagery of his most recent endeavour.

On the cover of Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, as well as during the Glastonbury Festival, Lamar can be seen wearing the crown of thorns, which was made bespoke for him by creative collaborator Dave Free and the prestigious jeweller Tiffany & Co. 

In terms of the symbolism of the crown, Dave Free has explained, “The crown is a godly representation of hood philosophies told from a digestible youthful lens.” Free co-founded the multi-disciplinary media company pgLang with Kendrick Lamar.

In terms of the construction and design of the crown itself, it took ten months to design in its entirety. Additionally, the headpiece features 8,000 cobblestone micro pavé diamonds totalling more than 137 carats and weighs around 200g. The crown required more than 1,300 hours of work in total, executed by four craftsmen, who handset the diamonds.

Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product and communication for Tiffany & Co said, “Kendrick Lamar represents the artistry, risk-taking creativity and relentless innovation that has also defined Tiffany & Co. for nearly two centuries. We are proud and incredibly excited to work with a visionary like Kendrick in realising his vision for the crown.”

There are no official public numbers or figures as to the cost or value of the crown itself, though some have said that the level of work and craftsmanship render it a priceless item.

One of the most common uses of the crown of thorns in terms of imagery is through religious iconography, specifically as Jesus on the cross had a crown of thorns placed on his head. Appropriately, he wore the crown to perform ‘Savior’ at the festival. He then made a statement regarding the current political state in the United States, calling out, “They judge you, they judge Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights!”

The crown is clearly a work of art and fine craftsmanship, and it’s already being utilised in so many unique ways to add depth to other forms of content—both in live performances and in the album art.