All the buzz of Kendrick Lamar’s powerful comeback

Friday May 13 2022
Lamar cover
By Lilian Ndilwa

After a period of five years, Kendrick Lamar is back! On rare occasions when he releases his music, the world stops attentively and listens. The hip hop icon is today releasing an album titled ‘Mr Morale and the big steppers’ a week after dropping an iconic single ‘the heart part 5’.

This album comes after his last project ‘DAMN’ that was released in 2017 in which Kendrick featured music legends including Rihanna, Zacari, Anna Wise and Steve Lacy.

While we have not yet heard ‘Mr morale and the big steppers’ it is known that Kendrick Lamar took his time to mold this album because aside from his song black panther that was released in February 2018, this will be his solo project after five years.

Kendrick sneakily announced the release of his fifth studio album on 18 May this year on a quote retweet that responded to a fan whose tweet was posted four days earlier that noted ‘Kendrick Lamar is officially retired’.

On that quote retweet, Kendrick attached his website ‘oklama.com’, which is essentially an outlet for his projects. In the Oklama site there were three folders. One stated the date ‘Mr Morale and The big steppers’ will be released today, May 13.

The second folder had a picture of a hand holding two disks, both written with a black marker; one was written Morale and the other, Stepper master copy. The hand was also seen holding a red cover book with a title that reads ‘Mr Morale and the Big Steppers’ alongside his name below this.

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The third folder contained a note he wrote on August 21, 2021 that he had not shared with the public.

It reads “I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence. I go months without a phone. Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family.”

It further states “While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next. As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”

He finished the note by saying “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all.

See you soon enough.”

Right after he shared this document, Kendrick’s fans exploded with excitement and he started trending for a while.

‘It’s happening!’ Long time coming! ‘Kendrick was brought out of retirement!’ were some of the reactions on twitter after Kendrick unveiled the good news. Fans went as far as hinting some of the artists who will feature in the new album. Other fans started creating tweeting retirement posts of other artists with the expectations of receiving the same reaction as Kendrick’s.

Reflecting on the picture Kendrick shared in Oklama site where he is seen holding two different disks, it is still a mystery if he is releasing an A-B Album (a two in one album) due to the way the disks were named and held differently. It is also a mystery on the features on this album because Kendrick alongside his label have both not revealed this. The Album artwork (cover) has also been released yesterday, making the fans and music stakeholders nervous and excited at the same time.

Throughout his career, Kendrick has a habit of releasing parts of the heart series a few days before he releases a big project. These songs usually don’t end up on the albums rather they end becoming entrances into those albums.

The Heart Part 1 was released in April 2010, before his mixtape, ‘Overly Dedicated’. The Heart Part 2’ was the opening track on ‘Overly Dedicated; Section 80’. The Heart Part 3 was recorded three days before the arrival of ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ Kendrick’s second studio album.

One of the interesting thing about the third installment is that it was released a day after it was made. On the other hand, the Heart Part 4 dropped three weeks before DAMN, his forth studio album.

The song which has now gained over 17 million views on YouTube started trending shortly after its video and the audio were uploaded on Streaming platforms.

The creativity in the heart part 5 hints how unique, relatable and provoking his album will be. The hit song is opened by a quote ‘I am. All of us’ and as it begins, Kendrick mutters ‘As I get a little older, I realize life is perspective and my perspective may differ from yours’.

Throughout the video, he was standing on one angle in a white shirt and a black and white bandana that was tied around his neck. While his form, clothes and hair remained the same, the faces changed as they sang Kendrick’s verses.

In this hit song which is currently running the charts and trending globally, each celebrity that Kendrick Lamar morphed into delivered their own messages. Among the celebrities in the heart part 5 are Jussie Smollet, William Smith, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West and Nipsey Hussle.

Kendrick spoke about symbolism and black culture. How the society and black culture turns its back on its own people. While the message is relatable and relevant, it aligns with the person whose face is morphed by Kendrick.

The first face is Orethral James Simpson famously known as OJ Simpson, a former American footballer. Then Kanye West’s face where he detailed that he was diagnosed with bipolar in 2016.

The two actors, Jussie Smollet’s and William Smith’s, who at some point they have dealt with humiliation from the public and cancel culture.

The fourth and fifth faces are of the late Kobe Bryant, a successful NBA star and the late Nippsey Hussle, an iconic rapper. Through Nipsey’s face, Kendrick also advises his fans to get into investment.