Kendrick Lamar ended the five-year wait for a new album on Friday (May 13) with the release of his eagerly-anticipated fifth studio album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
An 18-song double-disc effort, the project boasts guest appearances from Ghostface Killah, Kodak Black, Baby Keem, Sampha, Blxst, Summer Walker, Tanna Leone and Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, among others. Behind the boards, frequent collaborators such as Sounwave, Pharrell, The Alchemist, Boi-1da and DJ Dahi supply the eclectic sounds.
But it’s Kendrick who steals the show, and not simply because of his lyrical talents. Across the album, the Compton native addresses Kanye West and Drake’s reconciliation, Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 stance and “cancel culture.” He also opens up about his “lust addiction” and infidelity, as well as transgender relatives and sexual abuse in the Black community.
While Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers opens yet another chapter in Kendrick’s illustrious career, it also marks the end of an era in another sense, serving as the 34-year-old rapper’s final release on Top Dawg Entertainment, the label he’s called home for well over a decade.
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” he wrote on his oklama.com website last August. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators.”
Given the fervent anticipation leading up to its release, it’s no surprise that Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers became one of the hottest topics on social media on Friday, with fans and artists alike flooding the internet with their reactions to Kendrick Lamar‘s latest, long-awaited effort.
From current rap stars such as Lil Durk, Tyler, The Creator and Kodak Black (who makes several appearances on the album) to OGs such as Lupe Fiasco, Questlove and JAY-Z‘s engineer Young Guru, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers had the internet goin’ nuts — which is nothing new for King Kendrick.
Check out the reactions to Kendrick Lamar’s new album below.
— Kodak Black (@KodakBlack1k) May 13, 2022
Kendrick just made it scary 🔒
— THE VOICE (@lildurk) May 13, 2022
ARE YOU HAPPY FOR ME? REALLY?
— T (@tylerthecreator) May 13, 2022
when he said 'first. time i fucked a white bitch i was 16 in the palisades' exactly
— thebe kgositsile (@earlxsweat) May 13, 2022
Reporting from Hawaii.
Exceptional work Mr. Lamar
— TAPE TAPE & HOUSE EP NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) May 13, 2022
Very proud of my boy @sam_dew #MrMoraleAndTheBigSteppers and @kendricklamar
— Wale (@Wale) May 13, 2022
Shout out to Kendrick Lamar and co… congrats on the new album. Last one on TDE. We made history! Much love and continued success. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/qrcVrofI0n
— Punch TDE (@iamstillpunch) May 13, 2022
The Alchemist on producing on 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers': "I remember the day [Kendrick] pulled up to the studio and left with this beat. Not gonna lie , every night i said a small prayer that this record would still make the album…This one is for my dad . 🏆" pic.twitter.com/YM7THHRBa6
— Pigeons & Planes (@PigsAndPlans) May 13, 2022
Congratulations @kendricklamar on the release of your album. It’s a special one most definitely ☝🏾.. huge honour to play a part 🖤 🙏🏾
— Sampha (@sampha) May 13, 2022
whoa @TaylourPaige ……
— ?uesto Is The Army, Better Yet The Navy (@questlove) May 13, 2022
— Jaden (@jaden) May 13, 2022
“I got some regrets….But my past won’t keep me from my best” @kendricklamar 🔥 Rumble Young Man Rumble 💪🏾👏🏾
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) May 13, 2022
Rented a studio just so I can hear this album loud!!!
— Young Guru (@Young_Guru) May 13, 2022
Trust nobody only ya mama nem
— Denzel Curry (@denzelcurry) May 13, 2022
Kendrick’s creativity is where the magic is. There’s so much jazz in it. Across the board. Gonna take everyone more than one listen and that’s what it’s supposed to do. But more importantly it’s gonna inspire kids to be creative.
— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) May 13, 2022
It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to sit with an album, muse over it and marvel at the art and lyrics. The racial trauma, the cathartic healing, & conceptual walk thru the lives of the people on the album is brilliant. I’m inspired and excited to create. #KendrickLamar
— Lecrae (@lecrae) May 13, 2022
Kendrick album make you really look in the mirror and question yourself. Classic Album🐐
— P (@qcm_p) May 13, 2022
New Kendrick Lamar is mixed very well. Top notch engineering.
— IDK (@IDK) May 13, 2022
thank you @kendricklamar , that album took me places I didn’t want to visit but it was necessary to heal, true art, once again a life changing first listen. 🐐
— superduperkyle.eth (@SuperDuperKyle) May 13, 2022