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“Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” Review & Analysis

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers Review & Analysis

1,855 days, it has been 1,855 days since Kendrick Lamar has last dropped an album.

Kendrick Lamar is famously known for his intricate lyrics and deep philosophical takes on things going on around him and in his life. The people anticipated the day of his return for over five years, and on May 13, 2022, he finally returned with “Mr.Morale & The Big Steppers,” and fans’ opinions are very mixed after the first week of release. This review will be skipping interludes since I will be covering full songs.

“United In Grief”:

Track one of the 2 part, 18 track album is named “United In Grief.” Kendrick tackles the subject of dealing with the grief he and others went through with the deaths of relatives and friends. The album starts with a very heavy subject, but Kendrick put it into lyrics beautifully conveying his message through every bar, also tackling his own internal emotional conflicts. 7/10


On track two, it’s like Kendrick is speaking straight to all people listening in the beginning to stop chasing and stop putting material things in this world on a pedestal and live in the real world, to be real and not be a fake in the life you live. After the first part, it seems that Kendrick’s message is to modern rappers, cancel culture, entertainers, and celebrities telling them their life is full of lies and gossip. This track sounded much more like modern rap and was one of my more favorite tracks after the first listen. 9/10

“Worldwide Steppers”:

“Worldwide Steppers” speaks on some of the most sensitive subjects: racism, social classes, and other topics among these through the way Kendrick details having intercourse with a white girl as retaliation for his ancestors watching. This track was less of a song and more of facing sore subjects over a beat, stirring up the pot in the media by putting his opinions in the open in song form. Because this track wasn’t as much of a song, it was one of my least favorites after the first listen and is still not my favorite. 4/10

“Die Hard”:

“Die Hard” features artists Blxst and Amanda Reifer. Kendrick, in his lyrics, speaks about how his passion gets ugly for him in life and relationships. Other lyrics ask the significant other the artists are speaking to to stay with them, saying they want the significant other to see the best in them past their flaws and inner demons they battle. This track is one of my favorites because the vocals from the features are beautiful, and they connect the song super well to give much balance to the track. 9/10

“Father Time”: 

“Father Time” talks about Kendrick Lamar’s battles with the daddy issues he dealt with from his childhood that his father instilled in him. Kendrick credits his daddy issues to keeping him competitive, but there are also many downsides like the alcoholism, emotional absence, lack of trust and much more. This track is personally my favorite on the entire album because the message and music production is so harmonious with the feature from Sampha’s beautiful vocals. 10/10

“Rich Spirit”:

“Rich Spirit” is about Kendrick being open about his family that he wants to protect his daughter now that he takes her to school. Kendrick wants to balance his spirit and life by being rich to keep his family up and wealthy but not brought down by the media or social media. The realness and rawness of this track is right up my alley. 9/10

“We Cry Together”:

“We Cry Together” is the explosion of emotion between lovers due to infidelity. Kendrick has this as a main topic because many relationships are toxic in this way but also end in the same way as the closing of this track. The closing is the way toxic relationships break people, and these broken people always come back together, and the cycle just keeps repeating as partners break each other down. 7/10

“Purple Hearts”:

Ghostface Killah made a surprise, but fitting, feature on the track “Purple Hearts.” This track shows us that love isn’t all red. GFK makes many great complicated love-raps in this track that are to resolve the infidelities we heard in the previous song. Kendrick chose this feature perfectly for this topic. In the end, it shows Kendrick’s commitment to his family and getting away from other females and rappers around him. 7.5/10

“Count Me Out”:

“Count Me Out” officially marks the beginning of the second half of this project, but the subject matter is still very heavy. This track mainly focuses on K-Dot’s depression and lack of faith with him saying at times he “couldn’t find God,” but his music kept him going. In this, he shows a belief in himself more than anything else he would believe in. Overall, this track is alright, and it’s not stand out to me as a track or in meaning. 6/10


“Crown” opens with this slow melody from a piano, and Kendrick opens up on what he calls love. Kendrick Lamar clarifies that he isn’t a savior connecting to the album cover where he had a crown of thorns like Jesus when he was crucified. This track features a lot of Biblical references saying, “Heavy is the head that chose to wear the crown.” I really enjoyed the metaphors and symbolism used in this track, and it is definitely one of my most favorite songs in the album. 8/10

“Silent Hill”:

On “Silent Hill,” Kendrick chose to team up with Kodak Black for this soothing type trap song about money, life difficulties, and fake friendships. This track is closely related to how Kendrick made it out of the hood and is now able to be a present father figure to his children, while also touching on the subject he didn’t have a father. Kendrick also credits Sunday service for making him into a man. Kodak Black’s line, “In the studio with K. Dot fresh out the feds,” maybe lets listeners know that he started working on this project the day he was released from prison. Overall, this song was really enjoyable with the cadences taken on this song and beat that Kendrick and Kodak worked well together on. 8.5/10


Kendrick Lamar is so highly praised in the rap industry and the overall music industry, some people put him on top of such a high pedestal; they treat him like a savior. Some may say he is a leader to lead the people into a brighter day. Kendrick sets the record straight for the people that he is in fact not a savior of any kind, but him having to clarify this also brings up that he acknowledges that people see him as this savior figure. I really loved this song because of how real Kendrick is about all the idols in our culture that aren’t our real saviors. The flow and beat Kendrick, Baby Keem, and Sam Dew created on this track is elite and is so coherent together. 10/10

“Auntie Diaries”:

“Auntie Diaries” speaks about the stories of two transgender people and how society looks down on them. Kendrick brings in the church and how they look on transgenders, hating on them, but Kendrick brings in the point of God loves all saying, “Mr. Preacher man, should we all love thy neighbor?” The next few lines end with the message that the act of kindness and love to people aside from their differences is monumental and can patch up family breaks. Kendrick goes on about how he didn’t know any better on the offensive things he said when he was younger but he has matured past that point. 8/10

“Mr. Morale” 

“Mr. Morale” focuses on the topic of Kendrick’s look internally to find peace within himself rather than the pleasures from outside materialistic options. After taking the listener in multiple directions of his usual sound, “Mr. Morale” uses the conscious rap everyone knows Kendrick for. On the other hand, he brings up this very arrogant, and boastful side of him, too. Kendrick mixes the two “characters,” or sides of rap, very well with this track’s sound and production. 8.7/10

“Mother I Sober”:

In the hood, there are a lot of traumas that come along with living there, such as experiencing heavy crime throughout childhood, seeing family or friends subject to an unfair justice system and many other things alongside this. Kendrick goes over the topic of domestic violence he witnessed against his mother as a child and the guilt that carried with him because he couldn’t stop his mother from being physically abused. There is also the topic of being very lustful and a sex addict, which got Kendrick in many bad situations, such as making an unstable relationship with the woman he is with. K-Dot wishes everyone, no matter what they struggle with, freedom away from whatever holds them back. This track was very emotional and held my interest during the whole 6:47 second track. 9/10


The final track of this album is labeled “Mirror.” Kendrick repeatedly says, “I choose me, I’m sorry,” telling all the listeners he is looking on the inside of himself and is focusing on his own mental health. Kendrick chooses this instead of being a leader for the people because he wants to let go of the weight on his shoulders put on him from the people. This song leaves the audience wondering if Kendrick Lamar is done with music forever to focus on himself after taking off the mantle of everyone’s expectations and opinions. I loved this song because, as a listener, we get to see Kendrick Lamar take steps in the right direction of where he wants to go and what he wants to take care of instead of what the people want him to do. 10/10

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“Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” Review & Analysis