It Has Been A While
After five years, Kendrick Lamar has finally graced us with another album!
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is Kendrick’s 5th studio album. It comes off the heels of DAMN., which was the first non-jazz or classical album to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music. Another fun fact: if you play the album backward, starting with track 14 and ending with track 1, Lamar says “it plays as a full story and even a better rhythm.”
Kendrick is known as a conscious hip-hop artist (one that challenges cultural, political, social issues, etc.), and he did not disappoint with this album. Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers is an 18-track album broken into two parts that tells two different stories. The first part covers what he was dealing with during the pandemic (“N95”), growth as a father, and dealing with issues in relationships (“We Cry Together”). The second part focuses on challenging and revisiting some social norms (“Auntie Diaries” and “Savior”).
What Separates Kendrick From His Peers
One of my favorite things about Kendrick’s music is he makes it just about impossible for you to listen to just one track from his album – you’re immediately pulled in. And if you only listen to the singles, you miss the whole point he is attempting to make. I listen to his albums in their entirety on repeat and still learn something new every time.
If this is your first time listening to Kendrick, I implore you to find the message within the message. He didn’t become an award-winning artist by accident.