After hints and teasers for more than a year, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar’s long awaited, anticipated album, has arrived on streaming platforms. As a follow-up to Damn, his 2017 studio album, Lamar has finally quenched his fans’ thirst for new music, with his final album for Top Dawg Entertainment.
Last month, Lamar had officially announced the new album with a link to his Oklama website, which revealed its title and release date. An unexpected surprise, his first single The Heart Part 5 soon followed with a music video to go with it. His narrative progresses from the evocative streets-to- prison cycle, to society’s proclivity to numb their pain with drugs to a recollection of performing in Argentina on the night of late California rapper, Nipsey Hussle’s death. Lamar then speaks from Nipsey’s perspective, offering a posit of what he may have thought when he was shot, telling his family that he’s watching over them and for his brother, Black Sam, to take care of his children. It is very chilling, yet powerful.
Fans already know to expect dense and complex lyrics from the fourteen-time, Grammy award winner, but yet the single’s accompanying video adds even more layers, which some fans may find hard to digest. The music video, employs the “deep fakes” of black celebrities of various measures of notoriety: O.J Simpson, Kanye West, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.
Despite the convincingness of the deepfakes is wary, nonetheless they still serve their purpose in accommodation to Lamar’s lyrics, helping to envision complicities in black representation and the pressures of being a celebrity.
One user on Youtube, Grizz Hood, wrote: “Kendrick is like the smell (of) grandma’s food cooking in the kitchen. You wait a long time but the wait was definitely worth it.”
Lamar’s The Heart Part 5, gave fans a taste of what was to be expected on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers and now, early this morning, the album has released with the likes of well-known and respected collaborators such as: Ghostface Killah, Summer Walker, Kodak Black, Thundercat, Baby Keem and many more.
The album has caused mass discussion and gratitude from fans on social media, but it obviously wouldn’t be a Kendrick Lamar album debut if it didn’t crash the internet. Just a few hours after the album had appeared on streaming services, Apple Music then began experiencing technical difficulties. Whilst some complained of songs getting skipped and removed, others complained of the album not being available in their region.
Whether it is unsure if Apple Music developers have found a solution and fixed the issues on their servers, Kendrick Lamar’s album is available on other streaming services such as Youtube and Spotify.
Click down below to have a listen to Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers:
Words: Kira Bruce