It never fails when a highly anticipated project gets released, fans will heavily critique it off of one listen. First thing they want to do is compare it to previous albums in their discography. As it should happen in due time, before one can do that, we need to let the album marinate in our minds for more than 24 hours before coming to that conclusion. The world witnessed this happen this past weekend in the form of Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
Without a question, Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest artists of all time. Each body of work he has released has been conceptually different from the next and has built up quite the catalogue in his career. For this latest album, the project shows the Compton rapper become very introspective and reflective in terms of himself dealing with trauma over the course of his life. From the first track, ‘United in Grief’, he goes on to tackle many issues from abuse, relationship, COVID, and much more. The features on the album complement the project very well with collaborations from Blxst, Summer Walker, Kodak Black and a surprising feature from actress-turned-rapper, Taylour Paige who can be heard on the album’s standout track “We Cry Together”.
People will be divided on how they feel about Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers if they were coming into this album looking for club ready bangers with some sprinkles of conscious rap. Kendrick has transcended above the norm and has reached a place where he controls the content and subject matter he puts out. The artist’s growth from his first album to this one has been a journey and I’m glad to see a new side of Kendrick on this album. This is definitely an album you need to listen to more than once to grasp the messages laid throughout the album. You can listen to his new album on all music streaming services.
Reggie Johnson is a poet reigning from Cincinnati, Ohio. Starting at the age of nine, Reggie has been writing poetry through their love of music and life experiences. He has 9 books now available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter@r_d_johnson and on IG @rdjohnsonwrites.