Hood Realism: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers
Born in Gardena, CA and went to school in Long…
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.
The track list is below for your ascension.
DISC 1: BIG STEPPERS
01 “In Grief”
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
DISC 2: MR. MORALE
01 “Count Me Out”
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
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is out now on PGLang/Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope.
Born in Gardena, CA and went to school in Long Beach. Raised by a creative; I always remembered waking up to my mother curating songs lyrics, going through notebooks full of clever lyricism and metaphors or being disciplined with a lesson that usually was tied to a metaphor. Instinctively, writing budded at a young age, I started writing poetry when I was 6. By 8, I fell in love with sketching fashion designs and expressing myself through fashion. My passions blossomed to the present moment, I am now a lifestyle writer, fashion writer, wardrobe stylist and a young black conscious woman that’s going to give you a witty perspective on any subject that is thrown at me.
This write up is nothing short of the clear glass. Kendrick is a breath of fresh air. I applaud a writer who recognizes the art in a artist. Not many view past the surface and you have done just that. Love it
Thank you so much! We appreciate the support & this review.
The intel is pulled out from the music, and placed in front of the readers. Drawing curiosity to the listener to experience Kendrick Lamar artistry personally. Good work.