Kendrick Lamar gets personal in “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”


Photo via Top Dawg Entertainment

In my opinion, Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest rappers of all time. After five years, Lamar is back with his fifth studio album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” This 18-track album, released on May 13, takes listeners on a raw journey through Lamar’s personal stories. After listening, I have to say it was worth the wait.

This album dives into themes of grief, Black culture, abuse, trauma and the struggles of being a father. All of the tracks on this album were beautifully executed. As Lamar’s focus wasn’t on creating the best hype song, but instead poetically describing trauma and obstacles humans face, this album was a new direction for the rapper. Track No. 2, “N95,” is one of my favorites, as the lyrics are beautiful and the switches between his rap flows are seamless. 

In track No. 4, “Die Hard,” Lamar dives deep into his life. During his description of the “subtle mistakes that felt like life and death,” he created an atmosphere that conveyed the stress mistakes can cause on people. Featuring Amanda Reifer, the track was a perfect mix of harmonizing vocals and an infectious beat. In track No. 18, “Mirror,” Lamar emphasizes the importance of life and being able to heal yourself. The maturity of these tracks was amazing, but it still seemed effortless and easy.

Track No. 7, “Rich Spirit,” shows how Lamar uses a poetic approach to his lyrics to make his tracks more meaningful. Songs like this really show how he is a lyrical mastermind who can incite feelings within listeners. My favorite track in this album had to be No. 11, “Crown:” the piano background made this song so powerful. Lamar has come a long way vocally since his debut, and it’s refreshing to see him get better with each track. The lyrics really conveyed his sorrow, which made the song more impactful. 

With outstanding production, beautifully written lyrics and deep underlying themes within each track, this album blew me away. I loved seeing a different side of Lamar’s music. Overall, I recommend this album to anyone as each track displays a different story and side.