When Kendrick Lamar releases an album, it’s always a big deal. His simple presence fills the energy of hip-hop with a passion that few have. Named the authoritative conscience of rap, Lamar’s genius, according to critics, lies in his virtuoso story. He holds a mirror in front of the culture he narrates. With its latest release »Mr. Moral and Great Steps”K.Dot is not afraid to reflect the beauty of culture and its darkness.
Listeners did not know what to expect from Lamar’s next album “DAMN” in 2017 – a bright album filled with refined sincerity about the vices and avoidance of the curse. But his mysterious letter to fans in August suggested it the final project of Top Dawg Entertainment would be another deeply personal proposition. “Love, loss and grief have violated my comfort zone, but glimpses of God speak through my music and family,” Lamar wrote in his Oklama site. “As the world around me evolves, I reflect on what is most important. A life in which my words will come later ”.
“Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” is awkward to listen to in design, and it’s not entirely perfect for those who are prized for creating near-perfect musical masterpieces.
Until April 18, Lamar’s fifth studio album was untitled. And after five long years without solo drops, the Rapper, Pulitzer Prize winnerUnexpected release “Heart, Part 5” it was thought to be a hint that “Mr. Moral and the Great Steps” would be given on May 13th. Another self-examination? A dissertation on the rise and fall of man? Lamar has the ability to keep listeners on their feet; the options were endless. Instead, listeners were given introspectives and an almost painful immersion in Lamar’s deepest uncertainty and struggle.
“Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” is awkward to listen to in design, and it’s not entirely perfect for those who are prized for creating near-perfect musical masterpieces. The 18-track album shows Lamar’s trauma, strained relationships with family, overly critical assessments of society as a whole and long, long path to therapy. Divide into two chapters, Lamar’s last sentence doesn’t cut corners. The first part details his five-year hiatus, while the second part reveals his ardent breakthrough in fearless confrontation with his troubles. Lamar plays the protagonist of his story, explaining the choices and erroneous steps that led him to seek a cure for his inner turmoil.
“Mr. Moral and the Great Steps” takes us on a chaotic journey through Lamar’s psyche, dismantling his image of an idol to remind us that he is still a man with flaws.
Lamar wants to be an open book in this double album, no matter how his lyrics (or a particular problematic artist, such as Kodak Black) may annoy his devoted listeners in their quest for peace. Immediately the rapper warns us that he has had a lot on his head lately, and his burden will be difficult to remove. “I was going through something / 1855 days I was going through something. Be afraid, ”he said on United in Hour. On “N95,” Lamar brings us together for all the “true stories” he is more than willing to tell now; he wastes no time revealing his true feelings about the culture of abolition and fraud. With the help of distracted faces and bold honesty, “Mr. Moral and the Great Steps” takes us on a chaotic journey through Lamar’s psyche, disassembling his image of an idol to remind us that he is still an imperfect man.
Compared to the cohesion of previous albums, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers »sound experimental. The tracks of the first part, such as “Father Time” and “Purple Hearts”, use enhanced instruments to paint a vivid picture of lost love and infatuation. Meanwhile, “Worldwide Steppers” and “Die Hard” are hoping for more funk rhythms to make room for Lamar’s reflections on the world’s shortcomings and his own. Still a song like Taylor Page“We Cry Together” with an assistant chooses a simple composition to balance the harsh insults exchanged between the actor and rapper. It is reminiscent of fiery fight scenes with Zendai and John David Washington “Malcolm and Mary” or Taraji P. Hanson and Tyrese in John Singleton’s “Milk.”
At best, the first half of “Mr. Morality and the Great Steps” offers a better understanding of Lamar’s path to get the right path. And the second part starts on a high note with “Count on Me,” which means essentially a new chapter for the rapper. However, some of his reforms, which go further, get confusing as the album continues.
“Aunt’s Diaries” is one of the most important songs of “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers ». It’s mostly about what hip-hop has struggled with since its inception: homophobia. The song about Lamar’s experience, growing up with two members of the trance family, became for him the perfect opportunity to take on the strong position of one of the rap giants. But he used his chance to show himself as an ally, naming his relatives and in the wrong way, along with 10 calculated, completely unnecessary F-bombs. While some fans defended Lamar’s song intent, the message is lost amid the crime. But just like Lamar rap on the chorus of “Crown,” he may not care how people react to his speech. “No, I can’t please everyone / I can’t please everyone.”
Lamar’s argument about the inalienable moral shortcomings of mankind takes place in the last part of the second half of “Mr. Morality and the Great Steps.” Tired of the world’s wildly exaggerated expectations of him and other celebrities of his size, Lamar reminds us that they no our saviors and should not be considered as such. “Kendrick made you think about it, but he’s not your savior / Cole made you feel strong, but he’s not your savior,” he says. “The future said, ‘Get a cash counter,’ but he’s not your savior / ‘Bron made you give him his flowers, but he’s not your savior.’
The album may not be perfect, but it’s its brilliance him deadlines.
Lamar’s point is transferred to “Mr. Moral”, where he talks to his son and daughter about healing yourself to become a better parent. But to do so, he must survive the trauma he mutters about in “Mother, I’m Sober,” and break the curse of abuse, fear, and excessive care handed down to his mother — a common battle that haunted many black families in America. “I am sensitive, I feel everything, I feel all / One person stands on two words, heal all / Transformation, then reciprocity, karma must return / Heal myself, the secrets I hide are buried in these words.” According to the song, his actions are as successful as his bride Whitney Elfford, congratulates him on breaking the cycle. “You did it, I’m proud of you,” she says. “You broke the curse of generations / Say ‘Thank you, Dad.'”
After a few auditions, it’s hard to refrain from praising Lamar’s courage for bringing his soul to “Mr.Marale & the Big Steppers”. It’s the most honest thing he’s ever had in the way he looks at the world. But even though he chose himself in The Mirror, Lamar still has some issues he needs to deal with. The album may not be perfect, but it’s its brilliance him deadlines. It is too early to say whether “Mr. Moral and the Great Steps” will be another classic of hip-hop, but Lamar gave us a lot to think about.