Kendrick Lamar kicks off the summer with his long-awaited return to music by dropping his album “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers”. The album follows writer’s block that kept Kendrick from creating new music. On the first few listens, it sounds like he never had writer’s block at all. The album is well=crafted and lyrically iconic. Kendrick brings an abundance of substance to the music scene. He kicks off the album with an anthemic “United in Grief” dropping into an outstanding cut called “N95”. The themes of these two songs set the stage for the album which is tied together with masterful piano melodies and amazing production.
Much of the album was produced by collaborators Sounwave, J.LBS, DJ Dahi, and Bekon; other production contributors include Boi-1da, Baby Keem, Jahann Sweet, The Donuts, Tae Beast, The Alchemist, and Pharrell Williams, among others. Singer-songwriter Sam Dew helped write a majority of the album. Musicians Thundercat, Tommy Paxton-Beesley, and Homer Steinweiss also contributed to tracks.
Two artists are formally featured on the album, singers Sampha and Beth Gibbons of Portishead. Other featured vocalists include rappers Kodak Black, Ghostface Killah, Baby Keem, and Tanna Leone, actress/rapper Taylour Paige, and singers Summer Walker, Blxst, Sam Dew, and Amanda Reifer of Cover Drive.
Big Steppers is narrated by Whitney Alford, Lamar’s wife, while Mr. Morale is narrated by spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle.
© 2022, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.