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Kendrick Lamar’s Newest Album Unshamefully Asks Us to Look Inward

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Kendrick Lamar’s Newest Album Unshamefully Asks Us to Look Inward


Written by Jackson Arnold


Edited by Ahlem Mahdhi 


May 28, 2022


 


Kendrick Lamar has become notorious for lyrics in his songs that dive into deeper topics such as gang violence in Southern California, racism, gun violence, etc. In his 2022 album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Lamar continues to ask difficult questions in his music on his way to what could be the album of the year. 


 


Lamar opens the album with a song entitled “United Grief,” which says, “I been goin’ through somethin’. 1855 days. I been going’ through somethin’. Be afraid.” This refers to his widely popular album DAMN, released on April 14, 2017, also known as Good Friday. Five years and 30 days later, Lamar released his first-ever double album on Friday, May 13, 2022, otherwise known as the horror-induced Friday the 13th. The significant difference between the release dates was a sign of what may be Lamar’s most prominent questioning of American society to date.


 


Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers may be a two-sided album, but the entirety of the record looks inward at Kendrick Lamar and his life for the past 34 years. In what almost seems like an open conversation with a therapist, he dives into topics such as money, his familial relationships, toxic heterosexual relationships, sexual assault, and cancel culture. He includes songs such as “Aunties Diaries,” which attacks transphobia as he describes the transformation he saw before his eyes and uses simple lyrics like “my auntie is a man now, I think I’m old enough to understand now.” Additionally, songs like “Savior” explain the art of self-accountability and the blame that many celebrities get for not being the savior of society, using names such as J. Cole, Future, and even Lebron James to invoke their efforts towards changing perspectives. 


 


Controversially, Lamar includes Kodak Black in the song “Silent Hill,” even though the Florida rapper recently had sexual assault allegations against him. Furthermore, Lamar questioned the cancel-culture obsessed song “Mr. Morale” if R. Kelly would have committed the crimes he did if it wasn’t for him being sexually abused at a young age. Hence, Lamar has found himself in the center of cancel culture, adamant about fighting against the freedom of his speech



Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is not Kendrick Lamar’s first album that questions American society, nor will it likely be his last as he continues to act as a voice for the voiceless, showing his fans and critics exactly who he truly is.


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