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Hood Realism: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers

Hood Realism: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar’s highly anticipated album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, is out now! From teetering on the top of a relative’s shoulders for a sight of Pac’ at the Slauson Super Mall to teetering at the top of Hip Hop’s greatest Legends list with a view of the seeds planted from adolescence and manhood, Kendrick came upon us once again delivering high level commentary on society’s most relevant themes. Without spoiling a feast for the deprived from his 5-year hiatus, here’s a breakdown of what the album entails.  

Hood-realism is the term that comes to mind for the cover of his book. Beautifully captured by Rennell Modrano. The four figures are positioned with Kendrick Lamar and a little girl at the forefront. A full-body picture shows him facing the right while holding her in his arms. A glimpse of his protection in his back pocket while his wife is in the background, breastfeeding a child. The setting is in a room with peeling paint and one comforter. Showcasing Kendrick Lamar as a symbol of protection for his wife and family of two in adversity. 

In parallel with the daunting drum rolls, Kendrick begins his album with curious conundrums. 

“Music is supposed to wash away the dust of everyday life.”- Art Blakeley 

Limited to 17 tracks but unlimited to a myriad of angles from delivery, themes and production, Kendrick Lamar succeeds to illustrate unadulterated realism.  

Authentic, navigating the rawness of mental woes of Black men that is prevalent across the black community today; real, traveling back in time and identifying generational curses, real, shedding the layers of toxic masculinity, real, shedding the tears needed so little boys can cry unscathed and unashamed. And with rawness. Real ass music. Highlighting real issues that are prevalent in the community today. 


Dustiness pushed aside it is a  clean reel of everyday life.  


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The track list is below for your ascension.  

01 “In Grief”
02 “N95”
03 “Worldwide Steppers”
04 “Die Hard” Feat. Blxst & Amanda Reifer
05 “Father Time” Feat. Sampha
06 “Rich” (Interlude)
07 “Rich Spirit”
08 “We Cry Together” Feat. Taylour Paige
09 “Purple Hearts” Feat. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah

01 “Count Me Out”
02 “Crown”
03 “Silent Hill” Feat. Kodak Black
04 “Savior” (Interlude)
05 “Savior” Feat. Baby Keem & Sam Dew
06 “Auntie Diaries”
07 “Mr. Morale” Feat. Tanna Leone
08 “Mother I Sober” Feat. Beth Gibbons Of Portishead
09 “Mirror”

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is out now on PGLang/Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope.

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