After five long years, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar is back and has announcement plans to release new music. His fifth studio album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” is set for release May 13. Lamar released the announcement via his new multi-media outlet. the society pgLang. The project will be Lamar’s final album under his contract with West Coast Powerhouse TDE, preceding the rapper’s full transition to the pgLang banner. Founded by Lamar and Dave Free in 2020, pgLang focuses on using different art forms to tell stories, ranging from music to film to books. This idea is extremely captivating when you consider that Lamar himself cannot be defined as a mere rapper or musician, but a multi-faceted artist. This interdisciplinary creative identity can be seen in how Lamar’s existing studio albums use different art forms to convey a more complex form of storytelling.
“Section.80”: A collection of short stories
Lamar’s debut album gave listeners a driven, raw version of the budding star. He was a far cry from the mainstream entertainer he is today, but his gripping storytelling and lyrical abilities were clear on tracks like “Ronald Reagan Era” and “Rigamortus,” in particular, hears the Compton MC spit a tongue twisting, almost a minute verse – seemingly without taking a single breath. The album as a whole is particularly compelling, feeling like a collection of short stories that tell a larger, loosely connected narrative. This can literally be seen with the tracks titled “Chapter 6” and “Chapter 10”. But also in the overall flow of the album when taken as a collective work. There are the recurring characters of Tammy and Keisha, who even have their own tracks dedicated to them, for example. The album as a whole covers a wide variety of subject matter, from the effects of the crack epidemic to the nuances of race, with each track feeling like its own narrative home contained within the larger world of the album.
“Good Kid, mAd City”: a short film
“Good Kid, mAAd City” really thrust Lamar into the spotlight. Songs like “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “mAAd city” became among the biggest hits of 2012, and the album earned the rapper his first Grammy nomination and what should have been his first win. While “Section.80” is a collection of different stories, “Good Kid, mAAd City” is a tightly-knit narrative that tells the story of a single day in the life of a young Kendrick. “Backseat Freestyle,” for example, is about a young Kendrick freestyling in the back of a car after being picked up. The story is not entirely chronological. There are tracks that occur in different places in time, but it all goes back to this singular day. The album crosses the boundaries of simple music and becomes something cinematic. Lamar himself recognizes this, TOO. A description on the album cover reads: “a short film by Kendrick Lamar”.
“To pimp a butterfly”: the poet
Three years after “Good Kid, mAAd City,” Lamar returned with “To Pimp a Butterfly” in 2015 and completely rocked the hip-hop world. Sonically, it was a departure from his earlier works and their more conventional rapping sound. “To Pimp A Butterfly”, instead embraced heavy jazz, blues and hip-hop influences. This fusion of styles led to Lamar’s most critically acclaimed album to date, filled with powerful, introspective tracks about sanity, morality and racial inequality. And while “Good kid, mAAd city” seemed cinematic, “To Pimp A Butterfly” seems more poetic in nature. Throughout the album, Kendrick slowly unveils poem in some of the tracks’ outros and intros, giving longer and longer snippets and finally culminating with the final track “Mortal Man”, where listeners finally get the full poem. . The star is in its finale, where Lamar develops the title “To Pimp a Butterfly” with an allegory of the caterpillar and the butterfly that deals with the physical and mental growth of life. The impact of this album is immeasurable, and although Lamar was snubbed “Album of the Year” at the Grammys, his messages on “To Pimp a Butterfly” will long stick with fans.
” DAMN. » : A mixture, a satire
Lamar’s latest studio album brought together styles from his previous works. He again adopted the more traditional sounds of hip-hop, but supplemented them with themes and sounds first seen in “To Pimp A Butterfly”. It created a clear and empowering thematic experience that won him the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music, making him the first rapper to do so. With titles like “FEEL”, “PRIDE” and “HUMBLE”, Lamar gave a clear vision of the relevance of each song. Each track feels like an exaggeration of these themes, giving unique examples of his experiences and thoughts. In his performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards, Lamar had the words “This is a Kendrick Lamar satire” prominently in the background as he performed the music for “DAMN.”
And now fans come to “Mr. Morale and Big Steps. What can we expect from this latest album? So much has changed in the past five years since ‘DAMN’ was released. And yet, Little has been heard of him since the release of Lamar’s compilation album “Black Panther: The Album” in early 2018. His most recent musical appearance was on Baby Keem’s 2021 album “The Melodic Album ‘, where he was featured on ‘range brothers’ and ‘family ties’, the latter of which won the duo a Grammy for ‘Best Rap Performance’. One thing is certain, though: Lamar will make sure his new album is a whole new experience. .