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Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (Album Review)

Kendrick Lamar gets us to internalize both the wonders and blunders of the world in “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.”


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TOP 5

 

Honorable Mention. N95

Take off everything but your earphones while listening to “N95” (F**k, how did I end up buck-ass naked?).

I’m pretty sure that Kung-Fu Kenny makes an appearance in “N95.” S**t, the fact that he calls out fugazi individuals to start the song off should tell you that it is him. What’s interesting is that the song has a few different tones: A hard-hitting tone, a superhero tone, an aggressive tone, and just a pure chaotic tone. This song is going to be fun to listen to during my bi-polar episodes.

 

 

5. Silent Hill

I never realized how similar Kendrick Lamar, Yeat, and Kodak Black are until this very moment.

“Silent Hill” is the track from this album that you can play in any environment. For starters, the song features this bouncy beat that promotes head-nodding and hydraulic hopping (Everyone likes to nod their head and make their hydraulics hop, right?). The song also features very memorable melodic raps, dynamic flows, a catchy Yeat-Esque hook, and one of Kodak Black’s most efficient and hardest verses ever. I don’t think anyone with ears can say that this is a bad song.

 

 

4. Savior

Ironically, Kendrick Lamar reminds us that he’s our savior by letting us know that he is not our savior in “Savior.”

I think that “Savior” is the most important track on this album. In the song, Kendrick Lamar gives us his thoughts on the Coronavirus pandemic, black-on-black hate, and the worshipping of celebrities. S**t, he even calls out Vladimir Putin. Though Kendrick doesn’t quite go nuclear rapping-wise (No pun intended), he does spit his bars with a level of conviction that tells me that this song means a lot to him.

Watch, a bunch of rappers are going to start claiming that they are non-saviors in their songs. I swear, Kendrick Lamar is the Michael Jordan of reverse psychology.


RGM Polls: Favorite Song From “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers”


3. Count Me Out

Which dumb-ass counted out Kendrick Lamar? Whoever did needs to be given the chair.

“Count Me Out” is one helluva musical rollercoaster ride. In the song, Kendrick Lamar takes us to church, hooks us up with some bomb-ass Instagram captions, reminds us what resiliency looks like, forgets to take a breath, and blesses us with a great chorus. Honestly, I love this song because its many different layers make it truly different from literally everything I’ve heard in the past five years.

2. We Cry Together

“We Cry Together” should be performed at the Kennedy Center as soon as tomorrow (Let Hamilton’s ass take a seat).

The acting performances that Kendrick Lamar and Taylour Page put up on “We Cry Together” are exceptional! In the song, the two go at each other’s necks about a whole bunch of nothing. Not nothing nothing, but, like, the nothing that people in toxic relationships usually argue about. Somehow, someway, the two artists find a way to rhyme in the midst of yelling, bad breath, and angry neighbors.

 

 

1. Father Time

After listening to this song, y’all better give Ja Morant’s dad an apology.

With a title like “Father Time,” you would think the song is adorable, right? Not quite. Instead, Kendrick Lamar aggressively spits bars that revolve around the tough exterior/interior that he built because of his rough upbringing. I love that the song has gentle roots that try to pick a fight with Kendrick’s gritty approach. All in all, I feel like you get one of the LA rapper’s best performances of all time here.

Kendrick Lamar, let me help you out: Drake and Kanye West’s beef was FAKE! We were all bamboozled.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. United In Grief (5/5)

2. N95 (5/5)

3. Worldwide Steppers (5/5)

4. Die Hard (4/5)

5. Father Time (5/5)

6. Rich (Interlude) (N/A)

7. Rich Spirit (4/5)

8. We Cry Together (5/5)

9. Purple Hearts (5/5)

10. Count Me Out (5/5)

11. Crown (3/5)

12. Silent Hill (4/5)

13. Savior (Interlude) (N/A)

14. Savior (5/5)

15. Auntie Diaries (4/5)

16. Mr. Morale (4/5)

17. Mother I Sober (5/5)

18. Mirror (4/5)


RGM RATING

(A-)

 

Before y’all kill my top 5, let me make this clear: I pointed out MY favorite five songs. I fully understand that there are songs that are more important than others. OK, let’s carry on with the conclusion!

Starting today, I will no longer call Kendrick Lamar a musician; I will call him a motivational speaker that knows how to put his words together like a rapper. In Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, I think that he does an outstanding job of touching on topics that are haunting the black community in ways that are painfully honest, a bit complex, and almost sideless. I didn’t spend most of my time nodding my head to the songs on this album; I spent most of my time internalizing Kendrick’s powerful lyrics.

We must talk about the many different music styles we get in Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Throughout the album, Kendrick Lamar’s willingness to experiment is apparent: He spits bars over beats that might give you seizures, beats that are on some old-school R&B s**t, beats that will turn clubs upside down, beats that boast dance vibes, and beats that bloom in irregular ways. Additionally, Kendrick does a fantastic job of diving deep into his melodic bag just as much as he dives into his kill-a-rapper bag. All in all, we must applaud Kendrick for sacrificing music that slaps in favor of music that has performances that are impactful and theatrical.

I thought that the features on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers were interesting. We all know that Kendrick could’ve gotten any major artist on this planet to be on this album; instead, he relied on Kodak Black, Summer Walker, Ghostface Killah, Baby Keem, and lowkey singers such as Taylour Paige, Sam Dew, Tanna Leone, Beth Gibbons, and Sampha. As expected, Kendrick puts everyone in a position to succeed; he does this by actually conforming to their styles.

My mind feels refreshed after listening to this album. Kendrick’s deep thoughts delivered to us in a musical form give us a refreshing new way to digest the daily conversations we hear from loudmouth/devious pundits and family members. I feel his words are truthful, blunt, and objective. I’m not prepared to call Kendrick a prophet, but I can call him someone who has a great gauge of the power that music can have when it comes to getting us to internalize s**t.

What Grade Do You Give "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers?"

One thought on “Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (Album Review)

  1. Mr morale disc vs The big steppers disc which one would you choose? (My choose is the big steppers because track 14-18 was amazing especially “mother I sober” that was really deep man)

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