Go back to previous topic
Forum nameGeneral Discussion
Topic subjectKendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13460312
13460312, Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri May-13-22 01:14 AM

01 United In Grief
02 N95
03 Worldwide Steppers
04 Die Hard (feat. Blxst & Amanda Reifer)
05 Father Time (feat. Sampha)
06 Rich (Interlude)
07 Rich Spirit
08 We Cry Together (feat. Taylour Paige)
09 Purple Hearts (feat. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah)
10 Count Me Out
11 Crown
12 Silent Hill (feat. Kodak Black)
13 Savior (Interlude)
14 Savior (feat. Baby Keem & Sam Dew)
15 Auntie Diaries
16 Mr. Morale (feat. Tanna Leone)
17 Mother I Sober (feat. Beth Gibbons)
18 Mirror

Out now.

This is gonna be polarizing.
13460313, a lot of filler.
Posted by Reeq, Fri May-13-22 01:16 AM
.
13460314, It hasnt excited me how I thought it would...
Posted by tzt2004, Fri May-13-22 01:56 AM
Not sure if my expectations were too high or what but its like he is trying to stay current because I hear some influences, not to mention the Kodak Black and Summer Walker features.

The album kind of sounds like there was no clear direction imo, but maybe I'm judging it too soon.

Ill give it another listen tomorrow.
13460316, They don’t even attempt albums like this anymore
Posted by Tiger Woods, Fri May-13-22 05:52 AM

But this is going for Aquemini, Late Registration like paradigm-shifting territory

I am stunned by this album.
13460320, Aquemeni or Stankonia?
Posted by ShawndmeSlanted, Fri May-13-22 07:48 AM
What makes Aquemeni so special is it was different, but on first listen- that shit banged and was accessible to anyone who fucked with Outkast or was adjacent.

Stankonia on the other hand is a lot more polarizing
13460323, Stankonia...Damn was his Aquemini
Posted by auragin_boi, Fri May-13-22 08:08 AM
It's funny you make the Outkast comparison. Kendrick's career to me most parallels theirs. He's like a singular hybrid of Big Boi and 3 Stacks.
13460390, On first listen of TPAB I said "He went full Outkast".
Posted by Ryan M, Fri May-13-22 01:10 PM
Couldn't agree more.
13460448, I still liken TPAB to LWFC
Posted by jimaveli, Fri May-13-22 11:28 PM
>Couldn't agree more.

And not just Bilal and the sound even though it’s that too. In my mind, the musicians involved pulled that album out of Kendrick and he was smart enough to let them do it. That’s how I’ve always felt about LWFC too. And I don’t mean that in an insulting way to Kenny or Rashid. They both had to rap their asses off to make a lot of those tracks go as hard as they did.
13460449, same here
Posted by Stadiq, Sat May-14-22 12:04 AM

two of my top albums of all time.

13460322, You get it
Posted by DaKidFromHaiti, Fri May-13-22 08:03 AM
Album is great off first listen for me
13460317, Listening now before work
Posted by Adwhizz, Fri May-13-22 06:26 AM
"We Cry Together" sounds like Kenny listened to this song right before sitting down to write

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVFWiqUash8
13460348, 100% ....first thing I thought was Bobby Digital
Posted by liveguy, Fri May-13-22 10:54 AM
that beat on "We Cry Together" HARD AF tho.
13460358, 100% biting the RZA
Posted by javi222, Fri May-13-22 11:15 AM
not even in a subtle way lol
13460363, Well it's Alc so...
Posted by T Reynolds, Fri May-13-22 11:36 AM
13460321, I like United in Grief and Crown the best
Posted by T Reynolds, Fri May-13-22 07:57 AM
Using the minimalist style that the east coast brought back starting with Roc Marciano but with a more musical / less bleak feel is a good match for Kendrick's delivery and makes for interesting songs.

Some of the more classically produced songs don't really stand out. They prolly bang on a system but not so much headphone music

I like the Kyrie line on Savior

Silent Hill on the low is another banger



13461511, I'm only now digging deeper into commentary but
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:25 PM
yeah United in Grief doesn't seem to get enough props already
13460325, Yall bugging. This shit is greatness.
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Fri May-13-22 08:23 AM
Like not even saying I've processed the whole album. I've had one listen and its long and dense, but on one listen I can tell there is enough here to engage and talk about for a long time.

My biggest concern would be that it was too intellectual and heady and not have any real bops, but I feel like he covered off on that.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13460333, first listen was 10/10
Posted by mista k5, Fri May-13-22 09:17 AM
I can see why some people might not like some of it but this is not an album you can skim through. Songs change up a lot.

Excited to give it another listen.
13460372, yeah I love this
Posted by mista k5, Fri May-13-22 12:09 PM
Not one song I would remove. I feel like everything has a purpose and meaning and the execution really worked for me. I appreciate the content and enjoy the different styles.

I'm curious to see what he puts out as singles/makes video's for. I think Die Hard and Purple Harts are obvious choices that sound similar to Damn. Count Me Out also reminds me of Damn, specifically God but I don't think it would be a single.

I think Auntie Diaries and Mr. Morale could be a combo video. The beat of Auntie Diaries is dope. The content is heavy which would make it very interesting to be a single. The song kind of reminds me of Between Me, You & Liberation.

Mirror could also be a single.

Definitely keeping this album in rotation.
13460334, This hard af. Its not for the club, its for US
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri May-13-22 09:31 AM
side-eyeing some of yall negro’s while bumping Crown
13460338, Auntie Diaries.. gotdamn this goes
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri May-13-22 09:39 AM
and I think a lot of niggas our age can relate.

13460340, Mother I Sober… shit.
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri May-13-22 09:52 AM
this man is talking about it…

all of it.

13460339, His most personal album. A challenging listen at times. But 9/10 for me.
Posted by PROMO, Fri May-13-22 09:49 AM
I really like it.

whether you end up loving or hating or being indifferent about the new album, at least acknowledge that Kendrick is just a different level of artist.
13460451, I’m here. Album made me genuinely emotional.
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat May-14-22 01:03 AM
Dude is really sharing out here, grappling with real trauma, both personal and systemic, and doing a beautiful job conveying it. Lotta these songs go too.
13460346, Need to time for this to settle in
Posted by makaveli, Fri May-13-22 10:23 AM
Early favorites are

Father Time
Purple Hearts
Count me Out
Die Hard
13460350, It's exactly what I expected: honest & vulnerable & creative
Posted by Damali, Fri May-13-22 10:56 AM
ultimately, we all contain multitudes, and he's no different.

to call it good or bad or great or terrible would be a disservice, in my opinion.

it defies such binary considerations.

d

I don't speak to provoke. I speak because I think our time is short and each moment that we are not our truest selves, and we say what we do not mean because we imagine that is what somebody wants us to say, is wasting our time on this Earth - C. Adichie
13460351, he talking bout it allll...
Posted by rdhull, Fri May-13-22 10:57 AM
father issues, generational abuse, etc etc...

if I was other rappers Id hang up my mic lol
13460369, I guess he will be an every other album guy for me
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Fri May-13-22 11:56 AM
The content and subject matter is interesting but musically I’m not into this at all. Some of this stuff is flat out bad or there will be like a 30 second switch up that just takes me out of the song
13460377, all over the place musically. got excited when i got to silent hill
Posted by bearfield, Fri May-13-22 12:23 PM
truly didn't care for a handful of the instrumentals he was rapping over. i do think it's a good project and i felt compelled to run it back as soon as it was over, which is a rare thing for me

tbh i think the rapping is uneven as well. he mentions having writer's block for 2 years early in the album. some of his flows and patterns are so basic that i thought that he was still working through it. it seems like the crux of the album is the lyrics and even then he's kind of just plainly stating things. like exposition through rapping. not much in the way of literary devices that rappers usually use. didn't catch much word play, metaphors or even similes. had me wondering if kendrick was always like this. that said i only listened once and generally miss a ton of stuff with the lyrics bc i am so dialed in on instrumentals and flows on my first go. i did catch the themes of the album (therapy, past trauma, infidelity, etc.) but likely missed many of the details. maybe the album will open up more after a second listen
13460388, Definitely agree on the delivery leaving a lot to be desired
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Fri May-13-22 12:54 PM
I’m just left scratching my head as I listen to most of this. Part of me just wants to read the lyrics at some point because there are a lot of songs on here I just do not want to sit through again.
13460371, Folks need to realize he ain’t for cruising head bobbing
Posted by rdhull, Fri May-13-22 12:07 PM
His shit is deeper than that and this is all primary what I said but he’s Dylan not Drake (thank god) or whomever you drink/smoke to.
13460375, some of these songs sound like he's going for that though
Posted by T Reynolds, Fri May-13-22 12:19 PM
stock west coast overproduced shit in a couple cases

it works on a couple tracks and it doesn't on a couple others to me, but I see the ones I'm not feeling in that lane (N95, Purple Hearts, Count Me Out), some others are feeling. The ones I do feel in that lane are Die Hard and Silent Hill
13460403, You don't have to sacrifice musicality just to be "deep"
Posted by Mafamaticks, Fri May-13-22 02:23 PM
13460381, I fucks with this. Hard.
Posted by bwood, Fri May-13-22 12:40 PM
Gotta give it another listen but damn...
13460382, What are headphones or earbuds are yall listening to this with?
Posted by Kira, Fri May-13-22 12:43 PM
Missed on entire production elements using $5 headphones.

It sounds better on headphones cheap as the K361 or both shp headphones 9500 and 9600. These go hard on open back headphones like the 300 R. Gonna try these on Beyerdynamic's Pro X line too. They even sound good on $12 akg headphones.
13460387, Momentum 3 wireless cans
Posted by mista k5, Fri May-13-22 12:52 PM
I might give it a listen to with my Sennheiser open back. I forget if they're the 598 or 559.
13460397, Sennheiser HD800
Posted by Innocent Criminal, Fri May-13-22 01:34 PM
13460481, RE: What are headphones or earbuds are yall listening to this with?
Posted by jimaveli, Sat May-14-22 01:25 PM
>Missed on entire production elements using $5 headphones.
>
>It sounds better on headphones cheap as the K361 or both shp
>headphones 9500 and 9600. These go hard on open back
>headphones like the 300 R. Gonna try these on Beyerdynamic's
>Pro X line too. They even sound good on $12 akg headphones.

Jabras 75. I walk with em. I thought about pulling out the m50x but maybe not.
13460386, ghostface's verse brought tears to my eyes
Posted by falafel stand pimpin, Fri May-13-22 12:51 PM
is it 2022 or 96
13461512, I legit cried three times during this album.
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:28 PM
13460393, "Critics" VS "The Streets" (I only heard 8 songs so far......)
Posted by CHASE SwAyZe, Fri May-13-22 01:23 PM
"The Critics" ("10/10, 100%, Perfection....")

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Morale_%26_the_Big_Steppers#Critical_reception

"The Streets" ("7/10, 6/10, Trash.....")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLkL-EnHGH4

I've never seen 100% *Perfect* Wikipedia album ratings until now, but I'll save my thoughts for when I hear the whole album......
13460401, RE: "Critics" VS "The Streets" (I only heard 8 songs so far......)
Posted by The3rdOne, Fri May-13-22 02:11 PM

>
>"The Streets" ("7/10, 6/10, Trash.....")
>

Kendrick aint really made an album for "the streets" since GKMC
13460426, The twitter/reaction video "streets"?
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Fri May-13-22 04:53 PM

**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13460510, True, but..............
Posted by CHASE SwAyZe, Sun May-15-22 10:16 AM
.....I couldn't find direct links to Pookie, Ray-Ray & Junebug :-/
13460398, RE: Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Posted by Oak27, Fri May-13-22 01:34 PM
https://c.tenor.com/L3OPhIMIrwoAAAAd/boxden-sean-p.gif
13460400, this is incredible
Posted by Stadiq, Fri May-13-22 01:54 PM
Very ambitious...talking about A LOT...hits hard. Heavy listen.

Impressive effort. I might be crazy, but it sounds/flows like a live show/ set list/ borderline musical to me if that makes sense.

I'm not saying its a classic or perfect or even better than his others cuz its too early for that in my opinion...and I don't see anything topping TPAB for me...but this is really great.

I do think the Heart 5 should have been on here somewhere.
13460571, RE: this is incredible
Posted by RaphaelSoulLee, Mon May-16-22 05:31 PM
>Very ambitious...talking about A LOT...hits hard. Heavy
>listen.
>
>Impressive effort. I might be crazy, but it sounds/flows like
>a live show/ set list/ borderline musical to me if that makes
>sense.
>
>I'm not saying its a classic or perfect or even better than
>his others cuz its too early for that in my opinion...and I
>don't see anything topping TPAB for me...but this is really
>great.
>
>I do think the Heart 5 should have been on here somewhere.


Everything you said!!
13460402, Grammy locked in
Posted by Fire1986, Fri May-13-22 02:21 PM
13460407, this is for sure winning Album of the Year
Posted by Oak27, Fri May-13-22 03:00 PM
13460414, lol. agreed. if anything else won i'd be shocked.
Posted by PROMO, Fri May-13-22 03:25 PM
someone would have to drop a HUGE critical AND commercial hit album.
13460432, I wouldn't count on that.
Posted by squeeg, Fri May-13-22 05:40 PM
The only rap albums to win Album of the Year had just as much—if not more—singing than rapping. Assuming this album is nominated, it COULD be the one to break that trend, but it seems doubtful. But then again, the album just dropped last night, and it's probably way too early for me to be speculating on any of this.


_______________________________
gamblers and masturbators.

www.twitter.com/urkelmoedee
www.instagram.com/urkelmoedee
www.twitch.tv/urkelmoedee
www.mixcloud.com/returntozero
www.albumism.com/search?q=Marcus%20Willis
13460442, Rap Album of the Year...this aint winning Album of the Year with Adele
Posted by ChampD1012, Fri May-13-22 08:31 PM
out in the streets...
13460405, After Mother I Sober, shit like Mortal Man looks way different
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri May-13-22 02:24 PM
Like, he was really struggling with his infidelities when he wrote that song, and what would happen if it came out that he was cheating on Whit like he apparently was.
13460411, after 1 listen, it's ok.
Posted by tariqhu, Fri May-13-22 03:20 PM
will give it a few more spins.
13460417, the beat at 2:10 of "Worldwide Steppers" deserved so much more
Posted by Oak27, Fri May-13-22 03:44 PM
than 10 seconds of existence
13460427, RE: the beat at 2:10 of "Worldwide Steppers" deserved so much more
Posted by cheesecake, Fri May-13-22 05:05 PM
Yess...that beat was fire. I wanted a full song with that
13460433, Merry Christmas
Posted by squeeg, Fri May-13-22 05:42 PM
https://soundcloud.com/quelle-chris/the-plan-feat-denmark-vessey
13460439, lol thnks
Posted by cheesecake, Fri May-13-22 07:46 PM
13460816, WHY THANK YOU
Posted by madwriter, Thu May-19-22 12:29 PM

--------
<--------- my cousin
www.richardlouissaint.com
photobloggin' it:
http://blog.richardlouissaint.com
13460435, Similar track for ya
Posted by natenate101, Fri May-13-22 06:34 PM
https://youtu.be/Tcy544lI9U0
13460440, good lookin out
Posted by cheesecake, Fri May-13-22 07:47 PM
13460437, I don't find it challenging like some people do.
Posted by Boogie Stimuli, Fri May-13-22 07:29 PM
It's an entertaining listen. Kinda like hearing a movie or a show, which I enjoy sonically. Most albums these days kinda bore me tbh. This one kept my interest and gave me some bops in the process. I may not listen to all the songs as one-offs, but I like them all in the context of the album, because the album has a story to tell, and I enjoy the story. It's his story, and it's told in a very relateable way. Some artists are able to pull this off with thoughtful content. The last I remember that really hit the mark for me was "Everything's Fine" by Quelle Chris and Jean Grae.

I don't mind some of the songs not standing alone as one-off listens. Every scene in a movie isn't a one-ff scene. Most of them only make sense in the context of the movie. This album is that way for me. It's a good audio movie. For instance, "We Cry Together" is a necessary part of the story. I have a similar scene in my own story, but you won't appreciate it properly without the rest of the story.

People are going on about "Auntie Diary" 'deadnaming' and 'misgendering' as if they're totally ignoring the fact that the song is written from the perspective of a child. Being disagreeable and contentious isn't the same as being woke. Alotta people don't get that tho. *shrugs*

I enjoyed the album. He's not the deepest person or some revolutionary (criticisms I've seen levied at him already) but I'd be a fool to expect him to be either. He's an artist bearing his soul in a creative way. I think that's enough.
13460574, Two things can be true
Posted by Damali, Mon May-16-22 09:06 PM

>
>People are going on about "Auntie Diary" 'deadnaming' and
>'misgendering' as if they're totally ignoring the fact that
>the song is written from the perspective of a child. Being
>disagreeable and contentious isn't the same as being woke.
>Alotta people don't get that tho. *shrugs*
>

People can "get that" and still feel that its not ok and not fukk w/it.

its ok for it to be called out.

d


I don't speak to provoke. I speak because I think our time is short and each moment that we are not our truest selves, and we say what we do not mean because we imagine that is what somebody wants us to say, is wasting our time on this Earth - C. Adichie
13460579, Millions of things are, and can be, true.
Posted by Boogie Stimuli, Tue May-17-22 02:42 AM
People can feel anything, based on anything.

And we can all call each other out in an endless loop.

Possiblities are endless.

Great talk.
13460818, RE: Two things can be true
Posted by madwriter, Thu May-19-22 12:33 PM
Basically my stance
--------

www.richardlouissaint.com
photobloggin' it:
http://blog.richardlouissaint.com
13460452, Am I the only one that hears a slight Migos/Young Thug influence
Posted by tzt2004, Sat May-14-22 01:34 AM
On N95? Something throws me off about that song to be the start of the album.

What happened to the chill Swimming Pools, or Money Trees style Kendrick use to rap in? He sounded more secure, or like one of the cool kids...now he sounds like someone trying to be cool on some of this and there is an urgency in his voice on all of these songs. Its like he didn't or couldnt relax as he approached this album.

Drake is also on his trying to be cool thing which makes me wonder if some of these rappers struggle with rap and how to stay relevant as they enter their 30s.
13460453, Yeah, but I think it plays into what he's trying to do with this album
Posted by Nodima, Sat May-14-22 01:47 AM
It feels like an almost total rejection of that weight put on him by GKMC/TPAB, he's emulating a few different artists he likes listening to



Which is kind of full circle, because this is a dude who used to publish terrible sounding Lil Wayne type mixtapes in his late teens


And having listened to that stuff a good amount back in the day, it's fun for me because it doesn't SUCK.SHIT. like it did back then but I can see why it'd be underwhelming for people who came on at Section.80 or even later.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13460458, He's got a Kodak flow on some of these songs
Posted by kingjerm78, Sat May-14-22 02:23 AM
13460469, I agree...
Posted by handle, Sat May-14-22 11:45 AM
And it's something I don't especially care for.

This may be an album I respect but don't actually like.
13460454, Be a while before I have a take, but think it could've gone more Pablo
Posted by Nodima, Sat May-14-22 01:55 AM
And I think that's true for a lot of ambitious albums of the streaming era. For how much this album hops around vibes and sounds, it's not a lot of songs that catch you by surprise especially after a couple listens, it does feel a little...Drake-ish in the way it can cosplay these different sounds instead of subsume them into a larger statement.

Whereas Life of Pablo...it's still intense to me when a Famous, or a No More Parties in LA/30 Hours or Waves comes on. It's kinda odd that Kendrick doesn't have that same effect...but I also disagree with people that are mid on this album. I think there's a lot here and I'm excited to keep listening at home, on the bus, after hours at work, etc. It sounds good and he sounds great.

Personal note...love seeing Duval Timothy get five placements. He's a dude I really think could have a huge effect on the rap scene if he gets enough minutes and it's cool to hear his influence here. Actually pretty surprised this thread is on average tepid towards the production, for me that's the early hook.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13460459, Lol no one listens to pablo
Posted by falafel stand pimpin, Sat May-14-22 03:12 AM
this album is classic
13460467, No one cares about that bullshit Kanye jerkfest
Posted by blueeclipse, Sat May-14-22 11:11 AM
You're right you need to spend more time with this Kendrick album if this is your initial takeaway
13460468, Y'all bugging. Life of Pablo gets spin.
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Sat May-14-22 11:41 AM
There are five legit great songs on life of Pablo that are in regular rotation.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13460470, Hey enjoy man.
Posted by blueeclipse, Sat May-14-22 11:52 AM
I can't fuck with that niggas music anymore. Bad energy.
13460471, I got this theory we are out of the Get Out, Black Panther and This is
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Sat May-14-22 11:55 AM
America era of Art of the Trump Presidency.

Trump was the pits but he did unite us against a common enemy of his type of racism and our art reflect that. The artistic highlights from that period had a moral clarity and was really gave us exactly what we wanted to see . Uplifting images or clear bad guys and a focus on the common enemy.

As much as I liked the works mentioned, they really weren't challenging or display any moral ambiguity. They were not "problematic". With Trump in office there was no room for internal dissension.

Trump is gone and now we are seeing more of the internal conflict. More internecine fighting done in public. Asking questions like, what did BLM do with all that money? Atlanta talking about black scammers. Chappelle questioning the alliance between the LGBTQ and Black movement in certain parts of each movement. The battle between progressives and moderates.

Kendrick has made his most personal album (which is saying a lot for a deeply introspective dude) and people are mad because he is voicing some his own problematic thoughts (which btw, he identifies as problematic!) and its not sitting well with people.

I am glad he did it. Art is supposed to challenge you. As much as I loved This is America when it dropped, it was telling that it became the fav of little white girls on tik tok for a minute. I watched the video recently and it's still amazing, but yeah.

I think about how as problematic NWA was, they really created great art that brought police brutality and life in the hood to life. I just doubt they would get the platform to do something like that to do because the bitter truth they rapped about also carried the baggage of their mysogny, homophobic and glorification of violence. I mean its a good to see us as a people evolve and look back and say we don't want to go back there. But it is also important to judge that work within the context of who the people were when they made the song. Just like when Kendrick talks about his own homophobia when he was younger.



Just some ideas I am working out.

**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13460483, I think people are mad because it isn't something you can play
Posted by legsdiamond, Sat May-14-22 01:55 PM
at a BBQ this summer.

and I'm sure most of the mad you are reading about is on twitter.. lol
13460472, This site is hatekanye.com. Pablo is hot in the real world
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Sat May-14-22 12:08 PM
13460473, RE: This site is hatekanye.com. Pablo is hot in the real world
Posted by blueeclipse, Sat May-14-22 12:20 PM
That's great. I'm happy for people who find this dude and his music helpful in their life. Good for them.

I could get into a very long back and forth about why I don't fuck with him but it's kind of a waste of time.

Part of it is I'm just mad that actual hip hop masterpieces like We Got it From Here..... don't get the shine they deserve and Kanyes work gets continually overrated.



13460490, You brought up the album. It's a good album. Dude remains trash.
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Sat May-14-22 03:57 PM

**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13461173, To be fair, I brought it up. And I meant in the context of experimentation
Posted by Nodima, Tue May-24-22 03:42 AM
Not content or creator. Looking back 6 years ago, it's hard to deny that that album is wildly creative. It summarizes an entire decade musically through both creativity and outright theft in a way that I think only gets more interesting to talk about and listen to the further we get from it. Like it or not, there was a lot more going on with that album than "I made that bitch famous" and "I get bleach on my t-shirt, does that make me an asshole?"


I think I said this in my original post about expecting/hoping for a Pablo-like album from Kendrick (after 2 weeks, I don't care what my hopes were any more, and I like this album even more than the critique I shared below might imply) but I'm just surprised that type of genre-hopping, culture-consuming yet huge sounding and frontwards looking type of production remains confined to, like, JPEGMAFIA and I guess all the dudes that are emulating Juice WLRD and Lil' Peep despite (IMO) even those dudes not fully realizing by half what the sound they were chasing could be?


Maybe a TL;DR is, I feel like Pablo was the last time I was totally caught off guard by an album. The new Billy Woods shakes me by my ankles, and Kendrick has me all in my worst self-ideations these days, while I love that I truly enjoy a Denzel Curry album front to back for once - but I couldn't say these albums kept me guessing or had me curious if the genre could be different. Despite all the chaos surrounding Pablo (and I've got a hard drive with 9 versions of that record to prove it) I think it's facetious to say that wasn't a very cool, probably wildly out of reach in terms of affluence effort from all the dudes that wrote verses for and pounded out beats Kanye could put his name out in front of.


EDIT: Forgot to say, if you don't hear "Fade" regularly, you oughta work near a gay nightclub.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13460482, popular with white folks..
Posted by legsdiamond, Sat May-14-22 01:49 PM
13460524, no it ain't. Life of Pablo straight HUFF.
Posted by PROMO, Sun May-15-22 11:11 PM
i couldn't believe people were, and still do, fellate that garbage.
13460726, you married Black, you don’t count.
Posted by legsdiamond, Wed May-18-22 12:16 PM
obviously you have standards. j/k
13460488, No way Jose
Posted by makaveli, Sat May-14-22 03:52 PM
Kanye’s music stinks, hasn’t been good in over a decade. A long time ago he made good songs, he was never good at rapping.
13460496, Straight to the point....
Posted by blueeclipse, Sat May-14-22 07:00 PM
This right here.



13460504, All these comments aside, I was referring to the experimentation
Posted by Nodima, Sun May-15-22 04:14 AM
Take the Kanye out of it, like I said in the original post aside from a JPEGMAFIA you don't get too many dudes embracing just how deep the hip-hop rabbit hole can go the way the Pablo team did back then and I guess because of the amount of time between albums and talent of the many people involved (particularly Martin, Glasper, Thundercat and Duval Timothy) I had kind of hoped this album's production wouldn't feel as...


stoic??

as it does.


And I really like it. Just a little surprised.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13460484, Probably my new favorite Kendrick album
Posted by Adwhizz, Sat May-14-22 03:06 PM
previously it was Good Kid, I didn't fall in love with TPAB like most people did


From the very beginning of United in Grief he makes it clear this is going be a very personal album about what he's been going through the last 5 years

The instrumentals and guest vocals throughout this are just powerful

Certain parts of this album reminded me of "Yeezus" Era Kanye (which I'm a fan of)

Was glad to see Kodak Black pop up throughout this, was kind of disappointed by "Silent Hill" since the title caught my eye when I first bought the album
13461513, same on all that
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:30 PM
13461514, same on all that
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:30 PM
13460503, This shyt is art. I can't even critique it musically yet
Posted by SeV, Sat May-14-22 10:29 PM
It's just on a different level than anything out right now

I've come to terms to stop comparing him to the classic hiphop of my time

And just appreciate him for what he is in this current state of rap



____________

DALLAS LAKERICKS LETS GO!!
13460511, this ^^^
Posted by legsdiamond, Sun May-15-22 10:31 AM
13460517, hell yea. 100%
Posted by Brotha Sun, Sun May-15-22 06:10 PM
13460507, The depth of introspection is an incredible achievement on it's own
Posted by bentagain, Sun May-15-22 08:32 AM
K. has always looked inward and his lyrics were funneled through the context of his environment
The fact that this is released during a pandemic is almost a footnote
He goes deep on so many topics;
... homosexuality, sex addiction, molestation, alcoholism, domestic violence, therapy, etc...
Almost everyone had a song just for them
Not just a... that's my jawn...jawn
A song that is deeply personal to each listener as well
For example, my father recently passed
So Father Time hits different, and I have a connection to that song which transcends just music

...I had the strangest reaction after my first listen...
Good for him.
That's all I kept saying
Good for Kenny

I get what some are saying about the music and lyrics
One of the songs had strings running for a bit, and I thought...they ballin' now... that's not a sample...nope, Kenny's big time now...he gets the whole orchestra.. LOL

He's 5/5 in my book, and that's rare company.
13460519, Sorry for your loss my guy, RIP to your old man
Posted by Tiger Woods, Sun May-15-22 06:45 PM
13460568, Appreciate it
Posted by bentagain, Mon May-16-22 03:51 PM
13460797, Parked the car last night, album stopped at Mother I Sober
Posted by bentagain, Thu May-19-22 11:03 AM
Jump in the car this morning…real tears
Crying like a baby on my way to work

I’m starting to question people that don’t find a deep connection to something on this album
Is it denial, or a block from previous trauma
Or just the privilege of not having ANY of these experiences

?
13460508, Kendrick's "Aquemini" but "Streets" wanted ATLiens...........
Posted by CHASE SwAyZe, Sun May-15-22 10:04 AM
........and they acting like it's "Electric Circus" :-/

Anyway it's still too soon to rate this, but my Favorite Song is "Count Me Out" -- I'll know by June though -- Btw, I know this is random/late as hell, but if anyone knows the name of the chick at the end of Nip's Double Up video, you'd instantly have a new best friend -- Thanks in advance.

https://youtu.be/pwBFOuCrdr4?t=637
13460578, been saying Kendrick is an Outkast disciple... thanks for this.
Posted by Dr Claw, Tue May-17-22 01:05 AM
13460543, the most fun thing in music...
Posted by Tiger Woods, Mon May-16-22 10:27 AM
...is going deeper and deeper into an album and finding something new on every listen

13460570, RE: Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Posted by RaphaelSoulLee, Mon May-16-22 05:24 PM
Absolutely Love it!!!
13460644, I tried..don’t like this
Posted by javi222, Tue May-17-22 09:16 PM
like some else in this thread … basic rhymes and flow/delivery … Even Ghostface’s appearance was underwhelming
13460696, What ?
Posted by Lurkmode, Wed May-18-22 10:18 AM
n/m
13460695, Truth be told..the music/instrumentation is really lackluster
Posted by Ascension, Wed May-18-22 10:14 AM
I know everybody wants to talk about how forward thinking this project is and how artsy it is. Which I agree, its different than the industry standard right now but at the end of the day, all I need is dope lyrics and beats and sonically these beats are really forgettable.


Instagram: ascensionmusic
13460724, I think its intentional. The words are more important than the beats
Posted by legsdiamond, Wed May-18-22 12:12 PM
13460725, my favs
Posted by legsdiamond, Wed May-18-22 12:14 PM
WorldWide Steppers
Rich Spirit
Count Me Out
Purple Hearts
Auntie Diaries
Mother I Sober
13460877, This doesn’t seem like it was written for
Posted by Lil Rabies, Thu May-19-22 05:18 PM
white people in any way. It’s so refreshing in that way and the mic presence reminds me of early BDP. I am going to have some fun now and read how white critics struggle with this content but are forced to praise it.. I thinks it’s his best and most consistent effort but the highs aren’t as high as the last two albums and it’s structurally similar to TPAB.
13460909, White guy chiming in here !
Posted by Tiger Woods, Fri May-20-22 05:39 AM
A) who knows who it was “written for”, seems most obvious it was written for himself, but I’ll tell you that THIS white guy thinks it may be my 2nd favorite KL album after GKMC. I’m in disbelief that all of these ideas could come from the brain of one person.

B) you’ll be surprised when you start seeking out reviews. Response is a mixed bag overall from both black and white critics, and white critics are especially agitated because he’s hitting all of the notes that white liberals love to whine about on Twitter. Between the cancel culture line on N95, the F word use on Auntie, and his tag teaming with Kodak Black, there’s lots of white liberal arts degree writers calling this their favorite condescending adjective - “problematic”. The inclusion of Kodak Black is somewhat of a head scratcher given his record, I get how having him on the record could seem counter to Kendrick’s otherwise pro-female themes on the album. That said, it baffles me how few reviews I’ve read understand that Kodak Black is here as a sort of caricature (KL literally mentions that poor black abused kids grow up to be rappers and buy jewelry and get face tattoos to cover their emotional scars.)
13460986, Thank you for responding
Posted by Lil Rabies, Fri May-20-22 12:35 PM
I wasn’t trying to be provocative but lyrically here Kendrick seems to be talking more openly in a way that only black people talk. There are some issues here he addressed that’s talked about in a way that I have never seen in mixed company and it is very refreshing: I can connect with it even seeing the shortcomings. I hope you find the same amount of value in this as a hip hop record knowing the context. The critical response is more accurate than I thought but still not fully understood. There is bo symbolism on the cover: many black men at the age of having young children face adjusting to long term versus short term goals in this country.
13461172, I'll let you have something too
Posted by Nodima, Tue May-24-22 03:20 AM
It's far from my M.O. anymore, I kept this profile up for a while after I dropped the "professional" stuff but it was mostly dormant post-2017. Granted because it's a RateYourMusic post it opens a bit relevant to that subculture in general but here's a white guy working through some stuff with Kendrick:


(I open the way I did because if you used to read me back in the day, you'd know I was denied writing about Overly Dedicated for PopMatters; for even more context, this was the Section.80 review I wrote: https://www.popmatters.com/kendrick-lamar-section-80-2495978575.html)


(Yes, there are typos. Nah, I won't edit them. That's what editors are for.)


--------


I feel an obligation here. An obligation so abstract as to barely make sense; not only has RateYourMusic continued to thrive whether I indulge or not, but I've tried to make it as clear as I can in sparse missives that I find the idea any one critic's voice means much anymore is foolish. I suppose Fantano has that, and good on him. But I get why any given musician might feel swept up in a tide of unknown origin. I wouldn't ever argue that I personally feel that way, but facts are facts - more artists are releasing more music in more formats than ever before. More critics in more formats. It's an absolute deluge, and I guess I wouldn't ever argue I feel that way personally because I very aggressively bowed out as soon as I did.

The ultimate trickle down of this creative assembly is that the pursuit of being an "expert" in nearly any genre, unless it's the only genre you care about, is absurd on its face. I don't think it ends there - I think an artist ought to realize this, too. Rap has seen the death of the New York crown, the dissolution of the King of the South label, and arguably never paid due to whatever we might've called the Bay Area Top Bopper or Minnesota Nice Guy Supreme. I've lost a step and a half since I last wrote regular, but somehow I doubt we could've done much better as a culture to establish other crowns if we'd tried.

It was all professional wrestling, anyway. Attempts to generate crowd pops and create relatable subcultures anyway. This is pre true social media, I'm talking hip-hop message boards of the late '90s and early '00s, in which a Jim Jones vs. Tony Yayo thread could feel like life or death and it really mattered if you knew what a Fondle 'Em Records LP was because the raps were good or because the raps were good over a Sade sample that couldn't possibly have been cleared. I want to make that point because , for better or worse, the rap game of 2022 to me feels even more like professional wrestling than the heyday, and I think it mostly feels that way because the middle men have been so thoroughly cut out of the picture. In other words, both artist and listener have less inventive than ever before to meet each other in the middle - the marks know what they want before they've seen the product, and the artists can't help but feel squeezed between embracing the niche they could lord over and the mass culture they could (or have) take the reigns of.

Hear me out, because I hear you - when major label artists felt comfortable doing their best work under the banners of DJ Drama, Don Cannon, Trap-a-Holics, Mick Boogie and others, not to mention the countless middle middle men who facilitated imfamous studio leaks like The Empire - you could distinguish quite succinctly what was for the fans and what was for the masses. We used to spend a ridiculous amount of time talking about whether the mixtape was better than the album, in part because it often was but also because it became harder and harder to tell what an artist - particularly a rapper - wanted to rap about, or on top of. It would constantly feel like the best rappers in the world were contriving records out of depleted cash advances while the most charismatic were fighting this endless war against rap as a raw nostalgia mine.

In retrospect, it almost feels funny because the style could never wholeheartedly reject either notion. At it's very foundation is a reverence for the past that belied so much of modern meme culture, while that dependence on both recent and distant pasts demands a pursuit of more expansive, expensive, theoretically more interesting music.

Which leads to Mr. Morale. I'd hesitate to call this a review, partially because I'm out of practice and partially because I don't think this album deserves a review. Let me go back to something I wrote a decade ago, regarding an album simultaneously marketed as both final mixtape and debut album: "Assuming he can reign in some of his stranger, more obtuse qualities and continue to grow as a man, it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see Lamar become one of the decade's most important hip-hop artists."

I'd say, as of 2017's DAMN., Kendrick had done that. Could I explain how it felt to hear "LOVE" at multiple wedding I bartended in the following five years? Weddings that otherwise featured all the usual, bland stalwarts I'm just slightly too high to remember or/and care to mention?

Here's where I'll skip ahead a bit in my argument and ask, does it really matter that Kendrick is so open about his love for early 2000s Eminem, late 90s DJ Quik or mid 2010s Kodak Black? In the sense that a huge portion of our egos wanted to presume Kendrick always had our best interests at heart, maybe. But even a cursory listen of Mr. Morale makes it clear the writer's block, the ghostwriting for cousin Baby Keem and others, the overexposure of Kodak Black on this very album is a rejection of that expectation. You listen to enough conversations about the making of To Pimp a Butterfly and you become acutely aware of how big a mistake that was, happily but not without increasingly acute anxiety. In an industry that had become practically allergic to that kind of release...simply, why?

Mr. Morale seems to attempt to apologize for DAMN. in the most minor key: I can speak to you ("N95", "Savior", "Mother | Sober", "Mirror", "We Cry Together" for better or worse), and I can write a fucking catchy hook ("Die Hard", which borrows smartly from Dua Lipa, "Rich Spirit", "Silent Hill", "Crown") but neither of those traits demand that you relate to me or I to you. I've seen some takes that Mr. Morale is intense or unapproachable, which I find a bit naive: I see a Kanye that hadn't gone so maximal after Late Registration in this album, or (to allow myself just a bit of datedness) an Ice Cube who'd been less concerned with remaining contemporary musically or a box office draw thematically. There's probably a lost Andre 3000 comparison in here as well.

All that being said, if you haven't felt estranged from your father, awkwardly paranoid about your financial and spiritual debt to your mother, regret about the friends you made along the way and influences you internalized while also recognizing you'd seen that soon enough to overcome those hurdles, and maybe considering the ultimate skeleton of this album self aware enough to recognize as much as the world sees you as LeBron James you might (little conjecture here) see yourself as more of a Rasheed Wallace...this is quite a blank slate of an album.

Kendrick makes terrible choices in terms of beats, guest artists, thematic conceits and plain delivery here. It's the first time since just before Overly Dedicated I could confidently say so, and so it feels easy to declare this if not a regression at least a stall. And I have to emphasize that I mean what I said just now - the stark pivot to morality via religion and masculinity via a worry the world has completely turned on his understanding of manhood are to be criticized, heavily.

Catch me ten years ago in a more academic mood and this entire review is about "We Cry Together", but for now I'll just say this - Taylour Paige turns in the most explosive performance of the album and it's not by coincidence. It's both a classic trope of Los Angeles albums for a woman to sneak in and steal the show from all the men in the foreground and a tacit admission from an artist aggressively rejecting his ordainment as the voice of a generation to embrace the villainy he engages in seemingly uncharitable ways throughout an album with such a seemingly unmovable title. Paige's verse acts as both white flag and self-flagellation.

Mr. Morale sounds like a promise of positivity, yet the Big Steppers are undoubtedly rolling stones. "I love when you count me out," goes the open to a second disc that all but the biggest fans will never know exists; in practice, it's just a thematic transition in a Spotify or Apple Music playlist. Maybe someday these new publishers will figure out how to let listeners experience what it once meant to swap from Nelly's Sweat to Nelly's Suit.

Mid jokes aside, and accepting this is where it gets a bit personal, Mr. Morale feels like Kendrick's most universal release yet, to me, in large part because it is so unabashedly his own experience with being a successful, hetero man in a world he so desperately wants to engage in yet just as often clearly feels beaten down by the pressures of that engagement. I can't, obviously, cop to feeling anywhere near the depth of his pressure experience, but I do know that I find the modern media world both infinitely inviting to artistic expression and yet endlessly pursuing a kind of morale middle ground that demands we either all experience and interpret this world within some pretty harsh parameters or just shut the fuck up. Luckily, I don't have to try and make commercial art in that environment, nor am I expected to make art that reflects the times rather than my personal experience.

To that end, it only makes sense that "Auntie Diaries" is where I end this commentary, because I think it takes a pretty supreme sense of self and artistry to write a song that's so enigmatically empathetic and disgusting as that song. Even "We Cry Together" had to resolve in revenge sex and pivot on a pair of Twitter memes. "Auntie Diaries" is a true original in rap, if not this level of mainstream audience at least, and it's got something for everyone. If you've ever sat up nights dissecting your relationship to a friend who's changed their gender and/or sexual presentation, if you've ever seen family or friends reject/embrace a member of the circle due to that choice, if you've ever - in the incredibly niche experience of a hetero male - attempted to juggle your memories of this person as they raised you against the person that you engage with and continue to learn from a an adult...the song's got all of that. But it can also be reduced, quite deservedly, to an explicit act of deadnaming a loved one in order to both sides your way through the current climate of so-called cancellation.

Even more succinctly than before, all I can say to that effect is I felt Dave Chappelle's "The Closer" special was not especially entertaining but elaborated on his various positions in quite thoughtful, moving ways. His actions following that special have proven be, perhaps, those of a venerated fool. I wouldn't be surprised if this section of this commentary eventually winds up in the same dumpster of embarrassment, but particularly following "Savior" it seems clear to me Kendrick wanted to make a very bold faced point to his audience that he is just as fallible as anyone that didn't get "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" was a cry for help, not a method acting exercise or, even worse, merely a song too intense to listen to more than once.

They used to tell me what you'd call the final paragraph of a review; summary feels too simple to be right, and why would I try to summarize what I'd tried to get at above? My last thought is this: something that I loved when I read about pop and folk music from the '60s and '70s is that critics could explicitly decry an album as one an artist's least accomplished works and yet unequivocally declare that flawed work their favorite work by that artist. Do I see myself there? I don't think it's likely - the most buried of critiques this commentary will offer is that the production seems, to be succinct, layman - but I will say that it hasn't taken long for me to not worry so much about the flaws Kendrick displays on this album, personally, politically or otherwise.

After all, I'm prone to be a piece of shit, too.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13461451, Excellent work
Posted by Lil Rabies, Fri May-27-22 11:00 AM
You are a good writer. You have a good balance of observation and personal and cultural references. You referenced Sheed appropriately. You shouldn’t stop writing even if you have finished criticism.
My take on white people not getting this album arose from a fumbled smart but dumb take in the symbolism of the cover. The radiators doesn’t mean anything. To me I understand that picture instantly, because I remember that point I my life and the reflections that I had to make to become a good father. I didn’t think Kendrick’s message would be so plain for what I perceived as a struggle that involved more than socioeconomic factors.
13461799, Thanks for the reply.
Posted by Nodima, Fri Jun-03-22 05:02 AM
Obviously I'm just gonna re-read that post and see all the typos, half-thoughts and small errors/missing letters throughout but always appreciate a good word. I just realized a while ago I don't have the sort of hustle it takes to make a career out of it without networking properly, but I do still really miss writing being central to my day-to-day.


For what else it's worth, I've been finding it interesting that the people I hear at work (a bar) and after work( ...a bar) bringing this album up in public are almost entirely white folks or local rappers/producers who feel, sorta like I said at the top, a kind of duty to wrestle with Kendrick on sight whether they like it or not. To the caucasity angle, maybe it has something to do with all the time we spent listening to Dashboard Confessional as kids. To the other, what else are you supposed to do (other than listen to me recommend giving that same level of attention to the new Billy Woods album)?

Most of the black folk I've overheard or talked to about this album have had more of a BWhat reaction to this album in my small sample size, wishing it had more hits and didn't have mud like "We Cry Together" and "Auntie Diaries" on it. There's just not enough time in the day to dedicate to Kendrick's therapy session.


But in general terms, Kendrick's too big to reduce to a black/white thing, right? Anecdotal evidence and personal hunches will never mean much, we'll just have to see what the culture says 5, 10, 20 years from now.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13460994, it's not sitting well w/ my spirit
Posted by GNT1986, Fri May-20-22 01:53 PM
maybe i'm pessimistic.

but this album distilled down, for me, is kendrick saying:

"fuck it - it is what it is. i'm working my shit out. y'all gotta work out your own shit. i'm working on me and this is what i got so far. miss me wit that other shit."

...and i respect it. i do.

i don't like it tho. it magnifies my own feelings of powerlessness and an inability to command my own destiny.

b/c if kendrick can't do it?

shit.

everything just seems to get worse.

i've spent the last 15 years in the service of others and shit keeps getting worse.

the best i can do is secure brief moments of rest - let alone peace or happiness or wealth.

it feels like it reaffirms that all you can do is for those small moments.

my inner idealist has been slowly bleeding out over the last decade.

this album feels like its tombstone.
13460999, My take is that you're correct in the conclusion of the album,
Posted by soulfunk, Fri May-20-22 02:40 PM
because that's the message of the last track Mirror (which happens to be my absolute favorite on the album.) He ends the song and album with that repeated hook "I choose me, I'm sorry" and it just HITS me.

BUT the rest of the album was a journey to get to that conclusion. The album is a full therapy session of him working through his own issues, and my take on it is that it's encouraging the audience to do the same. To not ignore the mental health discussion with yourself. To not take all of the issues of the world on your shoulders without first getting yourself right. And if you work through all of this yourself, maybe you reach the same conclusion as Kendrick - "I choose me, I'm sorry." But maybe someone else takes this as inspiration, works on themselves, and they come out on the other side better equipped and better prepared to start tackling some of the issues we see in the world.

Bottom line - you can't be effective in serving others if you don't first serve yourself.
13461010, RE: My take is that you're correct in the conclusion of the album,
Posted by GNT1986, Fri May-20-22 03:26 PM
>Bottom line - you can't be effective in serving others if you
>don't first serve yourself.

right. that's what i came to years ago. and i've practiced it - because that's how i've survived.

but damn if it isn't a bitter pill to swallow that he came to the same conclusion. i think the salt in the wound for me, personally, is i've just been getting by while yearning to thrive.


maybe it works out for kendrick - he's got access to more resources and it ties back into the idea of breaking generational curses.

for me, it's disheartening. this album would have put me on the floor if it dropped when i was going through it during grad school. maybe i'm still doing things wrong and i can't see it? lord knows.

the process is the process - and it took all the pieces for kendrick to get here in his journey. through this album - and his entire discography. i'm curious to see where he goes from here.


i think the album was solid musically.

it's my reaction to the message that's tumultuous.
13461051, I feel this
Posted by snacks, Sat May-21-22 02:17 PM
If the year in your username is your birth year, then we are the same age. Life has whipped my ass its fair share over the latter part of my 20's and early half of my 30's

What you view as powerlessness, I view as power. I've felt the powerlessness before too, but I view this album as solace that if his rich ass is going through it and coming to the same conclusions, then I'm done fine. He made subtle references to things I've tried to do to figure out who I am and who I've been (i.e., past life regression, therapy, etc.)

I don't know you or your current situation obviously, but I hope that your idealism finds a peaceful, grounded landing spot
13461074, RE: I feel this
Posted by GNT1986, Sun May-22-22 09:07 AM
that was the same silver lining I came to.

if *this* is kdot's answer and he's rich - well, shit. aiight. at least i'm not in left field, solo dolo.

but it just feels like it's an endless cycle of coping mechanisms with no *real* movement.

you win a little bit of ground. you lose a lot. play it smart, build back up. lose it all again.

repeat ad nauseam.

it really drives home the fact that *if i could do things differently* i would have solely focused on money and scraping together something for myself/securing financial wellbeing versus dedicating my career and life to the public good.
13461065, Have you read Eckhart, tried therapy, etc...?
Posted by bentagain, Sun May-22-22 06:56 AM
Agreed, he's saying I struggle with the same $hit you do, every man

But... he's giving you game on how he's dealing with it

He is doing it.

You aren't powerless...you have the power
You can command you're own destiny
Kendrick is not going to do it for you.
13461077, RE: Have you read Eckhart, tried therapy, etc...?
Posted by GNT1986, Sun May-22-22 09:30 AM
bro, i read eckhart tolle somewhere between 2010 and 2013.

i'm not new to this, i'm true to this. i've been on the mindful movement since the early aughts. my point is - coping mechanisms are just that - coping mechanisms. they don't deal with the root issues. you can't therapize your way out of poverty. self-help isn't going rectify race issues. there's even an argument to be made that turning inward is self-destructive as it allows all the external bullshit to continue, unchecked.

kendrick. with all his resources. all his money. all his depth. came to the same answer that i did - and he hasn't even really broached what comes next. theoretically - the hereafter is simply enforcing boundaries and flourishing.

theoretically. i made that choice - and *continue* to make that choice. because it's not something you simply decide and it's done. you have to continually work at it.

not all tended gardens flourish, tho.

that's why this album comes across as a gut punch for me. kdot - the light in the dark - said it's too dark; it's too heavy.

he has to protect his flame. and he told us to tend to our own.

and that's cool. i respect it. i made the same choice for my own sanity and health.

but that doesn't mean that i don't miss his warmth.
13461127, Sex addiction and alcohol were his coping mechanisms
Posted by bentagain, Mon May-23-22 10:35 AM
He uncovered the root causes for that behavior through therapy

Sounds like you haven’t uncovered the root cause of your issues.

You never heard the saying, money doesn’t buy happiness…?
Understood that this was an unexpected theme for his album
But I was happy FOR him
His work to be a better man, husband and father is commendable

I’m not sure how to comment on the warmth part…his albums have always been pretty dark
13461162, i think you're deeply misunderstanding me
Posted by GNT1986, Mon May-23-22 03:52 PM
kendrick is opting out.

this isn't a bad thing. he's decided to focus on himself, his family, he's enforcing boundaries.

good for him.

the flipside of this process means that he's limiting (if not outright stopping) how much he gives of himself to the world/his fanbase/the movement/etc.

that's the point of the conclusion of the second album, mirror.

I realized, true love's not savin' face
But unconditional
When will you let me go?
I trust you'll find independence
If not, then all is forgiven
Sorry our things saved the world my friend
I was too busy buildin' mine again

as i said, my inner idealist has been in its death throes for some time. all of my adult life has been in public service - pushing to make things better through empirically-based policy decisions. it's not glamorous work, it pays the bills (sort of?), and i found solace in the fact that it enables me to try to make the world a little bit better.

as i've gotten older, i have learned to take the wins where you can and let the rest go - but it's been harder to feel good about the small wins when the overall trends have been shit and don't show signs of reversing. it's gotten to the point where if i could do it all over again, i would focus on making money and then use that to try and do good in the world *after* i put myself and my needs first. nearly all of my personal issues & struggles would be solved w/ more money.

so, maybe you can't relate - and all you see is the triumph of kendrick's introspection and him striving to be a better man/husband/father. that's cool.

but i mourn the loss of his voice & his presence. i'm not expecting another TPAB or DAMN from him. it feels like if he puts out more work it's going to be kdot/oklama doing shit kdot/oklama enjoys.
13461164, It is hard to relate...when this is his most personal work IMO
Posted by bentagain, Mon May-23-22 05:10 PM
What you see as enforcing boundaries
I see as freedom
I think he summed it up well on Savior
Some higher moral ground that was being used to judge his life
That he was never going to live up to anyway
So in a way, you are right... he's indicating that he's not built to continue to carry that weight
...and that in itself is freeing...

I completely disagree about giving less of himself in future works...when he just bared his soul

I think this is where you're work lies...

as i've gotten older, i have learned to take the wins where you can and let the rest go - but it's been harder to feel good about the small wins when the overall trends have been shit and don't show signs of reversing. it's gotten to the point where if i could do it all over again, i would focus on making money and then use that to try and do good in the world *after* i put myself and my needs first. nearly all of my personal issues & struggles would be solved w/ more money.

You're contradicting yourself
K. has all the money in the world...and you previously said you were disappointed that he reached the same conclusion
So why do you think money is the answer?

but i mourn the loss of his voice & his presence. i'm not expecting another TPAB or DAMN from him. it feels like if he puts out more work it's going to be kdot/oklama doing shit kdot/oklama enjoys.

?
The loss of his voice and presence...I don't even know how you got there
He's talking about breaking generational cycles
Voice is still strong
Presence is still felt

It's interesting that you reference the earlier albums
I spent some time with TPAB after listening to this album
Some of those songs hit different...like if these walls could talk...

It's really interesting to know the unresolved trauma that existed in those records

Personal gain off my pain is nonsense.
13461165, we'll have to agree to disagree
Posted by GNT1986, Mon May-23-22 06:27 PM
(more) money is the answer because as long as i'm relatively comfortable in my personal life i can afford myself the freedom to fight the good fight in my professional life. put otherwise - i can accept diminishing returns in professional satisfaction if i had some more bread to fund my personal life.

it's that simple.

kdot, compared to average folks, has unlimited resources and said nah. personal gain off my pain *is* nonsense *when* you're already wealthy. he can afford to do that. that entire third verse reads like a farewell, to me.

we have different takes on what kdot plans to do. that's cool. maybe my take is premature - but i'm not expecting kdot to do anything other than kdot enjoys and stay in that lane.

maybe you disagree - that's fine.


13461174, didn't get into this in my "review" above, but this is its greatest strength
Posted by Nodima, Tue May-24-22 04:05 AM
And why I don't think that this is, presuming the best of his audience (which, I admit, is stupid) an unapproachable album. I'd bet most people have this moment in their lives, no matter how much weight is balanced on the choice. I could argue I've made it three times, much lower stakes of course - in fact, so low it's not worth reading this post unless we can start from a baseline that Kendrick is rapping about some fundamentally really relatable issues for men in their 30s in the 2020s, despite a lot of circumstantial differences:


1. I wound up a white kid with so many Af-Am Studies credits I had no choice but to major in a related subject or essentially reset to sophomore year because I just kept digging into what I wanted to learn and talk about. I was good friends with the dean of the program at the time; I stayed at his apartment while his buddies from DC visited, we'd sit and watch music videos in his office while I tried to do some kind of other sociology homework, etc. But I genuinely hated the idea of being a white adult taking tenure around the country lecturing other white people (because let's face it, especially in the Midwest a lot of Af-Am courses are white folk taking ethnicity credits) about problems I could only empathize with, so I balked. Dropped out, started bartending.

2. Won't be long-winded from here (because in re-reading that last paragraph, I already recognize the next two are irrelevant and plausibly the first was as well) but I wound up managing a very successful bar and restaurant, made a ton of connections and saw the path where I could continue the lineage of people in this town that take people's money to make their own ideas for a better hospitality experience happen. I balked and took less money for less responsibility and more personal happiness/time.



3. I just don't talk to my dad anymore. We try sometimes, and when he comes up I'm usually nostalgic for the things I learned from him when I was younger and he seemed invincible. But as an adult, I realize that he either faked a lot of the things I thought were good about him or lost them over time, and also recognize that finding that in him forced me to find myself in that and I didn't have the tools to cope with it. Depending on who you'd ask in my family, they'd quickly point to how I learned all the wrong things from my father and used them as excuses to take advantage of the positives I had/have going for me in life.



I get why, especially in shoes far less socially normative than my white-hetero dumb ass it would sound and feel wildly disappointing to hear Kendrick say he's actually not interested in wearing the crown he was handed. But I think that's incredibly, bafflingly emotionally mature of him considering the pressure that gets placed on prominent Black artists (even more than academics, politicians or businessmen) to provide a salve for the country's pain, historically. Again, obviously, what I'm relating to that choice is so far below and so much less significant than the choice he appears to be making, but I was also never a 13 year old in Compton dreaming of rapping on Dr. Dre beats with a Lil' Wayne feature. I can only surmise that it's not a huge stretch to think, maybe, balancing the artistic apex of Black pop music with featuring on Taylor Swift and U2 tracks might not be the goal he had, and certainly isn't comfortable with.

Let alone what he has to deal with in his personal life, which sounds like, y'know, a LOT.



~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13461066, Have you read Eckhart, tried therapy, etc...?
Posted by bentagain, Sun May-22-22 06:56 AM
Agreed, he's saying I struggle with the same $hit you do, every man

But... he's giving you game on how he's dealing with it

He is doing it.

You aren't powerless...you have the power
You can command you're own destiny
Kendrick is not going to do it for you.
13461067, Have you read Eckhart, tried therapy, etc...?
Posted by bentagain, Sun May-22-22 06:56 AM
Agreed, he's saying I struggle with the same $hit you do, every man

But... he's giving you game on how he's dealing with it

He is doing it.

You aren't powerless...you have the power
You can command you're own destiny
Kendrick is not going to do it for you.
13461142, I didn’t get that from the album, for me it was just his confession
Posted by legsdiamond, Mon May-23-22 12:46 PM
dude is called the greatest, had fame and wealth and realized that it wasn’t fixing what was broken.

“I grieve different” lets you know he was harming himself and others around him trying to cope with life/loss/lust/success/etc

and with the pandemic and cancel culture and everyone running online to scold people for how they were living… it was just too much.

He addressed the trauma and found out what had him broken and now he realizes he has to choose himself over everything/everyone out here trying to take from him or give to him.

13461515, that's the best part tho
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:36 PM
How many rappers have been on some "follow me, I have the answer" bullshit?

This is the opposite of all that.

"Follow me into accepting that your experiences and traumas require individual attention."

13461531, i fully understand this perspective
Posted by GNT1986, Sun May-29-22 08:49 AM
hell, normally i'd be saying the same thing. intellectually - i agree. i'm still squaring it with my soul. i'm closer to the acceptance phase of that struggle than i was two weeks ago.

a tiny voice inside of me was desperately hoping for "the answer" but categorically different and previously unconsidered. and right.

i appreciate that this album is catharsis for some folks - it's not that for me. for me, it's a reaffirmation of my inner cynic/pragmatist.

both are okay.




13461027, only 286k first week. woof.
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Fri May-20-22 07:49 PM
i know no single. i know minimal promo. *insert other pleas here*
but thats a looong way down from 603K first week for Damn.

dude out here doing JCole and 20 years deep Kanye numbers. the anticipation supposed to be sky high after 5 years away. people played it once, if they got through it at all, and said nah im good you got it.
13461047, I'm the biggest Kendrick fan...
Posted by tzt2004, Sat May-21-22 02:10 PM
but after one listen I just wasn't feeling it. I waited years for this album and it just didn't catch me so I couldn't support.

That's not to say I wont buy it ever, but I didn't purchase right away how I just knew I would.

I actually like The Heart Part 5 better than any song on the album.

Maybe the album is a grower...we'll see.
13461070, Still the biggest first week of the year.
Posted by Innocent Criminal, Sun May-22-22 07:39 AM
2022 sales overall just blow.
13461508, ^^^^
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat May-28-22 10:18 AM
13461072, what even is a sale in 2022?
Posted by Brotha Sun, Sun May-22-22 08:14 AM
no one is buying music, artists aren't living off the pennies they get from streams.

there's countless stories of artists inflating their numbers by using streaming bots. going on instagram and telling their fans to stream their songs on repeat with the volume down.

none of this shit real.

this album will be talked about and dissected years from now.
13461073, Exactly - you can’t compare any numbers from 2022 to 2017.
Posted by soulfunk, Sun May-22-22 09:07 AM
13461078, how about we compare numbers from 2022 to 8 months ago
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Sun May-22-22 09:52 AM
cmon man
13461080, Or compare 2022 sales to 2022 sales.
Posted by Innocent Criminal, Sun May-22-22 10:47 AM
anemic year, Kendrick still had the biggest release.
13461082, Anemic year lol
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Sun May-22-22 11:22 AM
They was predicting 500k+ for him. It’s a flop for an artist of his stature and point in his career.
Interscope even got Eminem to send out a hype tweet for the album cause it wasn’t catching like that
13461086, It’s almost June. If he has the biggest first weekend with those numbers
Posted by Innocent Criminal, Sun May-22-22 12:52 PM
Then yeah. Anemic year. Flop, maybe. We need to see how the rest of the year shapes up.
13461422, 1 week later
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Thu May-26-22 05:46 PM
https://twitter.com/chartdata/status/1529201067015262210

is it still a down year
13461431, it's always gonna be a down year if you lived the '90s
Posted by Nodima, Fri May-27-22 05:03 AM
Real question is, considering what this album sounds like and talks about, plus the way some / several critics (for example, Jon Caramanica of NY Times, Jeff Ihaza of Rolling Stone, Craig Jenkins of Vulture and Stephen Kearse of The Nation all got on a pod and spent an hour talking about how agreeably mid the album is) agree it isn't it impressive or more importantly relatable or enjoyable, isn't it a little interesting it can still hold #3?



I hit this a bit in the "review" post above but there was something about the sales wars back in the early '00s that felt real no matter what level of rapper you were arguing about, but it was also only ever rappers that fans argued over sales. You're a bit younger than me and I wonder, as somebody who was in those discussions then and couldn't ever decide whether I cared if Mos Def sold more than Ja Rule or Kanye sold more than 50 Cent (hint: hype can be wild distracting to a college kid) if in 2022 it matters at all what a so-called "album sales" ranking is.



Just thinking critically, it feels like simply by connection to what's come before a curious music listener in 2050 is gonna look back at 2022 and stream Mr. Morale before Harry's House...right? So what's the point in having the NBA leading scorer type conversation anymore?


Edit: If anything, I'm interested in why my people aren't rallying around Jack Harlow the way many, many money men probably thought they would.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13461432, Holding number 3 is not impressive
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Fri May-27-22 07:31 AM
When folks 3rd and 4th weeks are out selling your 2nd week with all the hype he had for his return. Like I said folks listened to this once, if they got through it at all because it’s mid, and said nah I am cool on this. All these good reviews are reviews of the person and the content, not the music.

You had outlets out here docking Ye just for having Marilyn Manson on the album but Kodak plead guilty to a rape and nary a peep. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy here. People think I dislike Kendrick naw I fw him but I can call a spade a spade and he didn’t deliver this time.

edit: as for the whites not rallying around Jack it was just too much of a force. There’s not a drip of angst to his music or struggle to his story. And the new album was just too obvious. If he came with 12 Churchill Downs it would’ve went over better but his label sent him out there like a slow pitch high and over the middle. Easy target.
13461455, wtf are you talking about? People are knocking the Kodak feature
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri May-27-22 11:17 AM
People hate Ye for obvious reasons

but neither really got knocked for lack of sales.. because obviously both these dudes know how to make music that sells. They are just at a point where sales aren’t the primary goal.
13461176, I used to have this Youtube link locked and loaded for this conversation
Posted by Nodima, Tue May-24-22 04:41 AM
And obviously it was likely always true for major label artists that this went on, so the older and more jaded I've gotten the less I've thought about it (and so I lost the name of the brand that filmed it...it was something like Kings and Crowns? I should've worn more streetwear) but they made a 10 minute video that was simply them going to every Best Buy and Tower Records or whatever in New York and sweeping copies of Thank Me Later into their shopping cart before handing multiple copies to everyone in the office and leaving a pile at the reception desk.

In retrospect I'm sure there was a promotional deal there, but in my naive college years when that video dropped I felt like the end of the sales wars was just put on front street for all to see. I started wondering, "did 50 Cent lose to Kanye because he just didn't send enough Shady Aftermath street teamers to New Jersey?" and never cared about sales ever again. Until Drake dropped Scorpion, anyway, where I saw that tracklist on Spotify and thought, "holy shit, this dude thinks he can make 24 (or whatever) tracks dip in and out of the Rap Caviar playlist for the next two years, doesn't he?" and realized maybe I'm just exceptionally cynical about Drake's business practices, lol.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
13461143, lmao at “sales”
Posted by legsdiamond, Mon May-23-22 12:48 PM
you don’t make an album like this if you care about sales.
13461166, Right, it’s so odd to me to listen to this and then talk about sales.
Posted by soulfunk, Mon May-23-22 06:53 PM
First, because the material itself was not at ALL built in a “for the masses” type of way. Not like there’s any radio singles on this or pandering to any current trends or even him specifically trying to set new trends.

Second, because in 2022 sales numbers really don’t even mean what they used to. Once the people realized that artists/labels can manipulate streaming numbers how they want, it really took away any context to what the numbers mean. Which in turn actually freed up established artists to make what they want.

And given both of these, he STILL has the best selling release of the year.
13461170, I think he followed trends
Posted by tzt2004, Tue May-24-22 12:04 AM
It's actually why its not clicking with me. I can hear different influences all throughout this album. I said I heard Young Thug/Migos on one song and someone else mentioned they heard Kodak Black. There's a song that reminded me a bit of Drakes style and another of Kanye.

N95 is very trendy imho.

My top three songs from Damn was Pride, Lust and Element. He was most likely influenced by other artists on those songs too but I doubt it was any of these new guys. Sounding like these new guys in any way is an instant turnoff to me personally.
13461167, if them numbers came back right it'd be hailed a success tho
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Mon May-23-22 07:02 PM
13461168, If Steph Curry led the league in blocks that would be hailed as a success.
Posted by soulfunk, Mon May-23-22 07:26 PM
But that doesn’t mean that him NOT leading the league in blocks makes him not successful when that’s clearly not his goal.

The way streaming sales are calculated favor strong singles HEAVILY, much more so than pre-streaming when it was about pure albums sold. If you have a major single on your album that’s going to juice up the album sales because an album equivalent unit is based off of numbers of streams regardless of which tracks are getting played. This album doesn’t have any individual tracks on it that are made to just keep on loop, much less so than Kendrick’s previous records.

And again, he STILL has the biggest selling album of the year.
13461453, no shit.. lol
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri May-27-22 11:10 AM
people in here are predicting AOTY not 700K a week.. smh.

we know its not a commercial album.

Do you?
13461501, an album on interscope from kendrick lamar will always be commercial
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Fri May-27-22 11:03 PM
13461516, ok now tell me
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:39 PM
Why it's his last album under this deal.

You're measuring using a tool that isn't built for the moment or the artist.
13461521, idk you tell me why eminem sent out the emergency tweet
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Sat May-28-22 09:51 PM
once the numbers came back crooked.
13461944, I...don't pay attention to Em.
Posted by Invisiblist, Mon Jun-06-22 08:08 PM
13461530, sure, it's a product for "sale"
Posted by legsdiamond, Sun May-29-22 07:30 AM
but you know damn well what "commercial" means when discussing a rap album

13461509, Is "best first week of album sales of 2022" not a success?
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat May-28-22 10:20 AM
Like, he sold more than insanely popular artists like Bad Bunny and Jack Harlow.

This is just the reality of the industry these days.
13461518, this is a weird hill for you to die on. maybe you have some...
Posted by PROMO, Sat May-28-22 05:41 PM
anti-kendrick bias/agenda?

biggest release of the year but not matching projections isn't the fail you think it is. projections are literally a guessing game in 2022.

it's not like the 90s or early 2000s, when you could just count up the orders from stores and get a pretty accurate look at what your first week sales might be like.

and the follow up week that you posted doesn't mean much either. the way streaming works at this point hardly ANY albums live for more than a week in any significant way.

i mean, Jack Harlow was projected to do like 250 or more and i believe he did 113 WITH THE NUMBER ONE SONG IN AMERICA.

the game isn't what you think it is man. in no way is almost 300K first week in 2022 a flop.

he put this album out with basically no promo and no single. when you have an album this dense thematically, with not much mass appeal as far as the sonics go, it makes sense it didn't match DAMN for sales.

DAMN, his most commercially viable album as far as sound, had a huge lead single. it should have sold way more, and did. also 2017 streaming vs. 2022 streaming landscapes can't even be compared.
13461520, im just having fun out here watching folks scramble with the arguments
Posted by BrooklynWHAT, Sat May-28-22 09:50 PM
to defend a mid album folks did not want to come back to. with TPAB i could say it just wasnt for me but recognize the artistry. this album is just musically poor.

i'd be willing to bet i have supported kendrick more than anyone on this board with my wallet so there is no agenda. clearly i just thought he was bigger than what he actually is. now i can place him in the proper perspective.
13461524, i'm not scrambling...just saying how it is.
Posted by PROMO, Sat May-28-22 10:59 PM
i don't even care about his sales selfishly as long as he's making music i like.

this is my second favorite kendrick album so he did that for me.
13461526, he's got a Kanye/Drake agenda
Posted by Stadiq, Sun May-29-22 12:22 AM

Never ever in my life have I worried about an artists sales...especially one I wasn't feeling.

He's now trying to claim Kendrick ain't big. LOL I'm crying.


In the era of streaming...a heavy album...honestly at times a depressing album...a very much not-commercial album...clearly some friction with the label...etc etc.


Plenty of reasonable explanations. Not to mention...what adult gives a shit?


But I'm "scrambling" I suppose.

Drake stans- "Kendrick isn't selling"

Reasonable adults- "well, consider a, b, c"

Drake stans- "Look at you scramble!"

Its silly...and weird.


Bottom line is that Drake isn't even in the same stratosphere artistically...and this is essentially an album Kanye wishes he could pull off....which he can't...even by committee.




13461101, man that buildup on auntie diaries got me hooked.
Posted by Reeq, Mon May-23-22 01:25 AM
that shit is beautiful.
13461517, I cried three times during this album.
Posted by Invisiblist, Sat May-28-22 05:41 PM
Fuck everybody dismissing it.
13461788, single had the biggest one week drop in billboard history.
Posted by Reeq, Thu Jun-02-22 08:53 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/kendrick-lamar-cry-together-sees-181000338.html

13461796, That’s not the single. It , like, totally couldn’t be a single
Posted by Tiger Woods, Thu Jun-02-22 10:54 PM
Do a -little- research at least cmon. That’s some
Hater shit.
13461798, ...
Posted by Reeq, Fri Jun-03-22 02:41 AM
https://www.instagram.com/p/CeUXGp0vHyv/?hl=en
https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd88MkuOWMs/?hl=en
13461801, I couldn't imagine too many people wanting to
Posted by Adwhizz, Fri Jun-03-22 07:15 AM
repeatedly listen to this song

I'm not surprised.
13461806, there isnt much album replay value to a lot of people.
Posted by Reeq, Fri Jun-03-22 08:46 AM
the decline of interest week over week is pretty clear across the board (not as bad as that particular song tho).

which sucks because music companies are gonna shy away from this type of content even more and go harder with the junkie/drill shit.

13461812, when you leave a label you don’t give them your hot shit
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri Jun-03-22 09:43 AM
on your last album.. lol.

I would imagine we will hear more digestible music on his new label..

but shit, maybe he has enough money he doesn’t give a fuck and will continue making this type of music.

13461811, that shit wasn’t a single.
Posted by legsdiamond, Fri Jun-03-22 09:39 AM
this is art..

its best to just let it be and not try to use sales as a metric.

also think this is the last album on his contract. Makes sense he would make an album he wanted and keep the “commercial formula” shit for his own label

13461792, die hard, rich spirit sum up the album…
Posted by Trinity444, Thu Jun-02-22 09:57 PM
a beautiful work of art
13462103, 'Savior' is my shit.
Posted by Dr Claw, Wed Jun-08-22 03:38 PM
lyrics and beat.
13462109, Same.
Posted by squeeg, Wed Jun-08-22 06:15 PM
13462235, only song from the album I've listened to since the week of release tbh
Posted by Oak27, Sat Jun-11-22 10:08 AM
13462234, a few weeks after release and I aint listened to this shit since.lol
Posted by jswerve386, Sat Jun-11-22 08:38 AM
13462241, still bumping it. still fire to me.
Posted by PROMO, Sun Jun-12-22 12:23 AM
13462244, Yep…still heavy in my rotation. Feels like a movie.
Posted by soulfunk, Sun Jun-12-22 01:12 PM
13462246, Aceyalone + RZA = Mr. Morale & Big Steppers
Posted by javi222, Sun Jun-12-22 07:05 PM
Interesting take….

https://www.mic.com/culture/kendrick-lamar-mr-morale-big-steppers-review/amp

The closest analogs for Mr. Morale are Aceyalone’s A Book of Human Language and RZA’s Bobby Digital In Stereo, and not only because Kendrick’s album includes a nearly 1:1 recreation of the latter’s signature song. It lurches from style to style, stitching disparate parts together with an involved organizing concept. Aceyalone in particular looms over this record. While most of Kendrick’s principal influences are from slightly later — Lil Wayne, Andre 3000 — his style occasionally seems descended from Freestyle Fellowship and the Good Life/Project Blowed axis at large, especially when his archest, most athletic raps are dropped onto jazz beats, or digital ones that mimic their unorthodoxy. It’s amusing to hear someone at the center of pop culture evoke genuine outsiders: When he interrupts his own hook on “Worldwide Steppers” with that song’s knotty, robotic opening verse (“my genetic build can build multi-universes”), Kendrick sounds like a Kool Keith character who only ingests airport self-help books.
13462284, yeah, still not really digging it.
Posted by tariqhu, Mon Jun-13-22 12:57 PM
few songs got better, overall, this aint it.
13462328, I love the last verse in Die Hard
Posted by makaveli, Tue Jun-14-22 08:21 AM
13462329, Love Everything About it
Posted by ShawndmeSlanted, Tue Jun-14-22 08:25 AM
>
>01 United In Grief
>02 N95
>03 Worldwide Steppers
>04 Die Hard (feat. Blxst & Amanda Reifer)
>05 Father Time (feat. Sampha)
>06 Rich (Interlude)
>07 Rich Spirit
>08 We Cry Together (feat. Taylour Paige)
>09 Purple Hearts (feat. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah)
>10 Count Me Out
>11 Crown
>12 Silent Hill (feat. Kodak Black)
>13 Savior (Interlude)
>14 Savior (feat. Baby Keem & Sam Dew)
>15 Auntie Diaries
>16 Mr. Morale (feat. Tanna Leone)
>17 Mother I Sober (feat. Beth Gibbons)
>18 Mirror
>
>Out now.
>
>This is gonna be polarizing.