Kendrick Lamar Tackles Adultery, COVID, and Transgender Acceptance on Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar Tackles Adultery, COVID, and Transgender Acceptance on Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers

The generational talent will also hit the road for a 65-date world tour this year.
PHOTO CREDIT:

Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers arrived Friday (May 13) with almost no promotion. No tracklist was leaked, none of the music from the album was revealed, no performances were streamed or televised. Aside from the initial public announcement of the record’s release through a PG Lang office brief tweeted by the rapper and a music video for his routine pre-album statement in “The Heart Part V,” Lamar has skipped the customary circuit that normally takes an artist months to undergo. Even when compared to the lead into and after his last record, 2017’s DAMN. which saw the release of his mega-single “Humble” top the billboard before the album’s debut, its video go viral, a Coachella performance widely seen the Sunday after, and a tour announced the next morning, MMATBS has created comparable anticipation purely based on the gravitas Lamar holds as one of the defining artists of our times. The album simply showed up on our streaming platforms containing no obvious singles and just 12 hours later The Big Steppers Tour was announced.

Chances are, you were up late last night digesting the album to the finish line at 1:13 AM still unpacking the deeply cathartic and personal subject matter.

The reputation and volatility of Black Male behaviour are at the center of the album as predicated by “The Heart Part V” in which Kendrick transforms into Nipsey Hussle, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Will Smith, and OJ Simpson, figures who range from tragic to erratic to upsetting. Aside from his own mistakes, Kendrick alludes to the Drake and Kanye allegiance last December on “Father Time” which he found surprising as well as the anti-vax status of divisive Brooklyn Nets Guard Kyrie Irving:  “See the Christians say the vaccine the mark of the beast/Then he caught Covid and prayed to Pfizer for relief/Then I caught Covid and started to question Kyrie.” Another highlight pulls actress Taylour Paige for a performative fight on the Florence and the Machine-sampling “We Cry Together.”

The album’s second disc becomes increasingly confessional. Kendrick normally viewed as a bright prophetic hope within the contemporarily debaucherous hip hop landscape portrays himself as someone who is being urged to seek help for sex addiction, trying to work through the guilt of sleeping with White women, and battling sex addiction amidst detailed affairs committed to his longtime partner Whitney Alford with whom Lamar shares two children. “Auntie Diaries” sees Lamar discussing the gender transitions of two of his family members, regretting his former exclusionary actions and connecting his new beliefs to his evolving maturity.

Kendrick Lamar will play 65 dates throughout North America, Europe, and Australia later this year with double nights booked for London, Toronto, L.A., Oakland, and Brooklyn. He’s bringing on his cousin Baby Keem and PG Lang artist Tanna Leone for support. Check out the dates below and by god go listen to this album.

07-19 Oklahoma City, OK - Paycom Center

07-21 Austin, TX - Moody Center

07-22 Houston, TX - Toyota Center

07-23 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center

07-24 Miami, FL - Rolling Loud

07-27 Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena

07-29 New Orleans, LA - Smoothie King Center

07-30 Atlanta, GA - State Farm Arena

07-31 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena

08-02 Charlotte, NC - Spectrum Center

08-04 Washington, D.C. - Capital One Arena

08-05 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center

08-06 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center

08-07 Long Island, NY - UBS Arena

08-09 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center

08-10 Boston, MA - TD Garden

08-12 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena

08-13 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena

08-14 Detroit, MI - Little Caesars Arena

08-16 Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center

08-18 Milwaukee, WI - Fiserv Forum

08-19 Chicago, IL - United Center

08-20 Saint Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center

08-21 Kansas City, MO - T-Mobile Center

08-23 Denver, CO - Ball Arena

08-24 Salt Lake City, UT - Vivint Smart Home Arena

08-26 Portland, OR - Moda Center

08-27 Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena

08-28 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rogers Arena

08-30 Sacramento, CA - Golden 1 Center

08-31 Oakland, CA - Oakland Arena

09-01 Oakland, CA - Oakland Arena

09-06 San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena at San Diego State University

09-07 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center

09-09 Las Vegas, NV - T-Mobile Arena

09-10 Phoenix, AZ - Footprint Center

09-14 Los Angeles, CA - Crypto.com Arena

09-15 Los Angeles, CA - Crypto.com Arena

10-07 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ziggo Dome

10-10 Prague, Czech Republic - O2 Arena

10-11 Berlin, Germany - Mercedes-Benz Arena

10-13 Hamburg, Germany - Barclays Arena

10-15 Copenhagen, Denmark - Royal Arena

10-17 Stockholm, Sweden - Avicii Arena

10-19 Oslo, Norway - Telenor Arena

10-21 Paris, France - Accor Arena

10-24 Stuttgart, Germany - Scheleyerhalle

10-25 Zurich, Switzerland - Hallenstadion

10-26 Lausanne, Switzerland - Vaudoise Aréna

10-28 Antwerp, Belgium - Sportpaleis

10-30 Cologne, Germany - Lanxess Arena

10-31 Frankfurt, Germany - Festhalle

11-02 Glasgow, Scotland - OVO Hydro

11-03 Leeds, England - First Direct Arena

11-04 Newcastle upon Tyne, England - Utilita Arena

11-05 Birmingham, England - Utilita Arena

11-07 London, England - The O2

11-08 London, England - The O2

11-13 Dublin, Ireland - 3Arena

11-16 Manchester, England - AO Arena

12-01 Perth, Australia - RAC Arena

12-04 Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena

12-08 Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena

12-12 Brisbane, Australia - Entertainment Center

12-16 Auckland, New Zealand - Spark Arena

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Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers arrived Friday (May 13) with almost no promotion. No tracklist was leaked, none of the music from the album was revealed, no performances were streamed or televised. Aside from the initial public announcement of the record’s release through a PG Lang office brief tweeted by the rapper and a music video for his routine pre-album statement in “The Heart Part V,” Lamar has skipped the customary circuit that normally takes an artist months to undergo. Even when compared to the lead into and after his last record, 2017’s DAMN. which saw the release of his mega-single “Humble” top the billboard before the album’s debut, its video go viral, a Coachella performance widely seen the Sunday after, and a tour announced the next morning, MMATBS has created comparable anticipation purely based on the gravitas Lamar holds as one of the defining artists of our times. The album simply showed up on our streaming platforms containing no obvious singles and just 12 hours later The Big Steppers Tour was announced.

Chances are, you were up late last night digesting the album to the finish line at 1:13 AM still unpacking the deeply cathartic and personal subject matter.

The reputation and volatility of Black Male behaviour are at the center of the album as predicated by “The Heart Part V” in which Kendrick transforms into Nipsey Hussle, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Will Smith, and OJ Simpson, figures who range from tragic to erratic to upsetting. Aside from his own mistakes, Kendrick alludes to the Drake and Kanye allegiance last December on “Father Time” which he found surprising as well as the anti-vax status of divisive Brooklyn Nets Guard Kyrie Irving:  “See the Christians say the vaccine the mark of the beast/Then he caught Covid and prayed to Pfizer for relief/Then I caught Covid and started to question Kyrie.” Another highlight pulls actress Taylour Paige for a performative fight on the Florence and the Machine-sampling “We Cry Together.”

The album’s second disc becomes increasingly confessional. Kendrick normally viewed as a bright prophetic hope within the contemporarily debaucherous hip hop landscape portrays himself as someone who is being urged to seek help for sex addiction, trying to work through the guilt of sleeping with White women, and battling sex addiction amidst detailed affairs committed to his longtime partner Whitney Alford with whom Lamar shares two children. “Auntie Diaries” sees Lamar discussing the gender transitions of two of his family members, regretting his former exclusionary actions and connecting his new beliefs to his evolving maturity.

Kendrick Lamar will play 65 dates throughout North America, Europe, and Australia later this year with double nights booked for London, Toronto, L.A., Oakland, and Brooklyn. He’s bringing on his cousin Baby Keem and PG Lang artist Tanna Leone for support. Check out the dates below and by god go listen to this album.

07-19 Oklahoma City, OK - Paycom Center

07-21 Austin, TX - Moody Center

07-22 Houston, TX - Toyota Center

07-23 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center

07-24 Miami, FL - Rolling Loud

07-27 Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena

07-29 New Orleans, LA - Smoothie King Center

07-30 Atlanta, GA - State Farm Arena

07-31 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena

08-02 Charlotte, NC - Spectrum Center

08-04 Washington, D.C. - Capital One Arena

08-05 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center

08-06 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center

08-07 Long Island, NY - UBS Arena

08-09 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center

08-10 Boston, MA - TD Garden

08-12 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena

08-13 Toronto, Ontario - Scotiabank Arena

08-14 Detroit, MI - Little Caesars Arena

08-16 Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center

08-18 Milwaukee, WI - Fiserv Forum

08-19 Chicago, IL - United Center

08-20 Saint Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center

08-21 Kansas City, MO - T-Mobile Center

08-23 Denver, CO - Ball Arena

08-24 Salt Lake City, UT - Vivint Smart Home Arena

08-26 Portland, OR - Moda Center

08-27 Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena

08-28 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rogers Arena

08-30 Sacramento, CA - Golden 1 Center

08-31 Oakland, CA - Oakland Arena

09-01 Oakland, CA - Oakland Arena

09-06 San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena at San Diego State University

09-07 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center

09-09 Las Vegas, NV - T-Mobile Arena

09-10 Phoenix, AZ - Footprint Center

09-14 Los Angeles, CA - Crypto.com Arena

09-15 Los Angeles, CA - Crypto.com Arena

10-07 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ziggo Dome

10-10 Prague, Czech Republic - O2 Arena

10-11 Berlin, Germany - Mercedes-Benz Arena

10-13 Hamburg, Germany - Barclays Arena

10-15 Copenhagen, Denmark - Royal Arena

10-17 Stockholm, Sweden - Avicii Arena

10-19 Oslo, Norway - Telenor Arena

10-21 Paris, France - Accor Arena

10-24 Stuttgart, Germany - Scheleyerhalle

10-25 Zurich, Switzerland - Hallenstadion

10-26 Lausanne, Switzerland - Vaudoise Aréna

10-28 Antwerp, Belgium - Sportpaleis

10-30 Cologne, Germany - Lanxess Arena

10-31 Frankfurt, Germany - Festhalle

11-02 Glasgow, Scotland - OVO Hydro

11-03 Leeds, England - First Direct Arena

11-04 Newcastle upon Tyne, England - Utilita Arena

11-05 Birmingham, England - Utilita Arena

11-07 London, England - The O2

11-08 London, England - The O2

11-13 Dublin, Ireland - 3Arena

11-16 Manchester, England - AO Arena

12-01 Perth, Australia - RAC Arena

12-04 Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena

12-08 Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena

12-12 Brisbane, Australia - Entertainment Center

12-16 Auckland, New Zealand - Spark Arena

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