review

Kendrick Lamar

Mr Morale & the Big Steppers

Released: 13th May 2022
Label: TDE · PGLang · Aftermath · Interscope
Genre: Hip-Hop
It seems that nowadays, anything and everything that Kendrick Lamar touches turns to gold.
After the major success of his 2017 album Damn. and the Black Panther soundtrack that came a year later, Kendrick spent a while laying low, recharging his batteries. Now, he’s finally back with his 5th studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, an ambitious and impressive double album.
One of the standout songs on this album is We Cry Together – a track which paints a graphic picture of a couple having a fight, throwing expletives at each other left right and centre for over 5 minutes. It’s a song that can really make you feel uncomfortable at times, as if you’re a fly on their wall, and yet this level of complete immersion that both Kendrick and Taylour Paige create is something that very few artists can properly achieve.
Worldwide Steppers is a track that really solidifies Kendrick’s status as one of the greatest rappers of all time. In the space of just 3 and a half minutes, he shoots rapid, quick-fire rhymes and bars into your ears with such intense speed, that you’ll be lucky if you don’t experience musical whiplash.
The record also has its fair share of guest appearances – the most notable being Summer WalkerSamphaGhostface Killah, and even Beth Gibbons from Portishead! Having these names appear on the album really shows the listener just how diverse and branched out Kendrick’s musical tastes can be.
Even though it’ll be his last album with Top Dawg Entertainment, it most certainly will NOT be his last record in general. And if this 70+ minute body of work is anything to predict the future by, then Kendrick Lamar’s next album will be, in just one word, unforgettable.

 

Listen to: We Cry Together, Worldwide Steppers, Savior
For fans of: Baby Keem, Tyler the Creator, Denzel Curry

 

Joe Richardson, Fopp Cambridge

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