Kendrick Lamar has released his long-awaited album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers which will be his final album for Top Dawg Entertainment.
The album is split into two volumes of nine tracks with features from Ghostface Killah, Summer Walker, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, Thundercat, Baby Keem, and more. Kendrick previously hinted that the album would be a double album when he posted a photo on his Instagram Story holding two CDs on top labeled “Morale” and “Steppers” with “Master Copy” inked on both CDs.
Eckhart Tolle, who is a spiritual teacher and author, narrates multiple songs on the album. Whitney Alford, Kendrick’s partner, also is credited as a narrator on several songs including “We Cry Together” featuring Taylour Paige.
Throughout the album, Kendrick raps about cancel culture and was very direct when pointing out the previous beef that Ye and Drake shared.
“When Kanye got back with Drake, I was slightly confused,” he raps on “Father Time.” “Guess I’m not as mature as I think, got some healing to do.”
Earlier this week, Kendrick dropped his first single as a lead artist since 2017, “The Heart Part 5.” Kendrick accompanied the song with a video; in the clip, the rapper’s face morphs into several deepfakes, including OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West, and Nipsey Hussle. In each verse, he raps touches on a personal topic related to the Black celebrity. “The Heart Part 5,” is the latest installation of his “The Heart” singles series. The tracks have always arrived prior to the release of a larger project.
On Wednesday (May 11) Kendrick released the album cover for Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers which included the rapper wearing a thorn crown while he holds a child. A woman laying on a bed is also seen holding another baby in the background.
Back in August, Kendrick reflected on the impact he had on TDE during his time on the label.
“I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” he wrote of Top Dawg Entertainment on his site oklama.com after teasing that his upcoming album would be his last with the label.
TDE President, Terrence “Punch” Henderson, congratulated Kendrick on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
“Shout out to Kendrick Lamar and co… congrats on the new album, he wrote. Last one on TDE. We made history! Much love and continued success.”
Shout out to Kendrick Lamar and co… congrats on the new album. Last one on TDE. We made history! Much love and continued success. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/qrcVrofI0n— Punch TDE (@iamstillpunch) May 13, 2022
Take a look at how fans are receiving Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers: