Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
May 13, 2022 (updated Jun 13, 2022)
bruh i don’t care who you are, rating this a 0 based off your FIRST listen has gotta be racist

also comparing this to any of his previous albums is just gonna ruin your experience. Kendrick never repeats himself and that’s including his sound. comparing this to To Pimp A Butterfly or good kid, m.A.A.d. city is stupid cause they’re entirely different albums from this, just sayin… anyways let’s get into the review

i’d argue that Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is Kendrick’s boldest album yet which should be taken with a grain of salt as every next album after the other is a bold decision made by Kendrick Lamar. however, it does resemble technique’s and styles used in his previous albums. i think the best description i’ve seen of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is that it’s the lyricism of To Pimp A Butterfly over the production used with DAMN., yet it still differs itself from those two albums. i knew the central concept of the album was going to revolve around family the moment i saw the album cover. the concepts of all his albums are generally reflected in the album covers used:

• Section.80 - items associated with poverty and lower income neighborhoods to illustrate exactly that
• good kid, m.A.A.d. city - childhood photo conveying his long and nostalgic connection to gang activity and life in Compton
• To Pimp A Butterfly - a community of black men over joyous around the body of a dead white senator indicating Kendrick’s idea of the perfect black revolution and conveying the perspective of institutionalism through the lens of a black man
• DAMN. - Kendrick in front of a pale brick background with the appearance of looking worn out/weakened which conveys the concept of Kendrick reflecting on his inevitable doom in purgatory

now, we have Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers which perfectly conveys the idea of his family life in connection with being a black man in America. with that concept in mind… this is arguably Kendrick’s most personal album aside from good kid, m.A.A.d. city. throughout the hour and thirteen minute long double album, Kendrick not only uncovers his (until now) very personal family life, but he conveys it in conjunction with his critiques in modern society… and the way he does this is FUCKING GENIUS. Kendrick displays viewpoint through the use of a therapy session in which he is dumping out all of this heavy lyricism on the listener, leaving one to wonder… “should i really be listening to this?” additionally, his albums have followed the patterns displayed in various forms of media:

• Section.80 - a book
• good kid, m.A.A.d. city - a film
• To Pimp A Butterfly - a poem
• DAMN. - a magazine

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers follows the structure of a play. it’s split into two separate acts (discs) and is overdramatized as much as plays can be. this is used to explain the gravity of his family’s situation. additionally, this can also be explained in the almost orchestral production throughout the album.

i know that at the end of the day, people are gonna hold Kendrick’s music to a standard high above anything that they can imagine because of his insane run in the early-mid 2010’s. he is one of the most creative minds in hip-hop so anything that literally anyone can imagine would be an expectation for him to fulfill. i do that. in fact, one of my dream albums that i want from Kendrick is a Madlib produced album. Kendrick has proved time and time again that he is the best rapper in history, and because his expectations are so ridiculously high, a lot of listeners will not enjoy the effort he actually puts out. regardless, this is still a great album and a cornerstone in his discography

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1 Comment
book, film, poem and magazine comparison is incredible
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