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Kendrick Lamar Finally Drops His Fifth Album: ‘Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers’

Kendrick Lamar
Courtesy Interscope

Kendrick Lamar’s fifth solo album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” finally arrived on Thursday night — his first full-length in five years. The 18-track album includes guest appearances from Summer Walker, Ghostface Killah, Kodak Black, Sampha, Baby Keem, Beth Gibbons of Portishead and a deeply emotional performance from Taylour Paige on the harrowing “We Cry Together.” Production is primarily from Sounwave, Duval Timothy, Boi-1DA, Lamar as OKLAMA, and Pharrell Williams on “Mr. Morale.” Also notable in the lyrically and musically dense and complex album is “Auntie Diaries,” an unusually clear-eyed take on transphobia.  

The album does not include “The Heart Part 5,” the new song — with a remarkable deep fake video — that he dropped on Sunday. 

See the full tracklist, features and production credits below.

Variety‘s full review is coming soon; listen to the album here.

Lamar first shared the news that he was coming out with an album last month, responding to an earlier tweet from SK that said, “Kendrick Lamar is officially retired.” Lamar quote tweeted a response with a link: oklama.com, which leads to a note that reads:

“The following statement was released today by oklama, through his company pgLang at 11:00 a.m. PT in Los Angeles, CA: Album: ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’
Release date: 5/13/2022. All factual information for this release will come directly from this source only.”

Lamar’s last full-length studio album was 2017’s Grammy-winning “Damn,” which was released just two days before the rap titan headlined Coachella and made him the honoree at Variety’s inaugural Hitmakers event. He followed up a year later with the curation of the “Black Panther” soundtrack, which included his duet with SZA, “All the Stars” — receiving four nominations at the 61st Grammys including record of the year and song of the year.

In 2021, he featured on two songs from his cousin Baby Keem’s latest album, “Range Brothers” and the Grammy-winning “Family Ties.”

“MR. MORALE & THE BIG STEPPERS” FULL TRACK LISTING:

DISC 1: BIG STEPPERS
1.        United In Grief
2.        N95
3.        Worldwide Steppers
4.        Die Hard ft. Blxst & Amanda Reifer
5.        Father Time ft. Sampha
6.        Rich (Interlude)
7.        Rich Spirit
8.        We Cry Together ft. Taylour Paige
9.        Purple Hearts ft. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah

DISC 2: MR. MORALE
1.        Count Me Out
2.        Crown
3.        Silent Hill ft. Kodak Black
4.        Savior (Interlude)
5.        Savior ft. Baby Keem & Sam Dew
6.        Auntie Diaries
7.        Mr. Morale ft. Tanna Leone
8.        Mother I Sober ft. Beth Gibbons of Portishead
9.        Mirror

1. United In Grief
Produced by Beach Noise, Duval Timothy, J.LBS, OKLAMA, Sounwave and Tim Maxey
2. N95
Produced by Boi-1da, Hykeem Carter, Jahaan Sweet and Sounwave
3. Worldwide Steppers
Produced by J.LBS, Sounwave and Tae Beast
4. Die Hard (Feat. Blxst & Amanda Reifer)
Produced by DJ Dahi, FNZ, Hykeem Carter, J.LBS and Sounwave
5. Father Time (Feat. Sampha)
Produced by Beach Noise, Bekon, DJ Dahi, Duval Timothy, Sounwave and Victor Ekpo
6. Rich (Interlude)
Produced by Duval Timothy
7. Rich Spirit
Produced by DJ Dahi, Sounwave and franO
8. We Cry Together (Feat. Taylour Paige)
Produced by Bekon, J.LBS and The Alchemist
9. Purple Hearts (Feat. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah)
Produced by Beach Noise, DJ Khalil, J.LBS and Sounwave

VOLUME 2
1. Count Me Out
Produced by DJ Dahi, J.LBS, OKLAMA, Sounwave and Tim Maxey
2. Crown
Produced by Duval Timothy
3. Silent Hill (Feat. Kodak Black)
Produced by Beach Noise, Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet and Sounwave
4. Savior (Interlude)
Produced by J.LBS, OKLAMA and Sounwave
5. Savior (Feat. Baby Keem & Sam Dew)
Produced by Cardo, J.LBS, Mario Luciano, OKLAMA, Rascal and Sounwave
6. Auntie Diaries
Produced by Beach Noise, Bekon, Bekon & The Donuts, Craig Balmoris, Sergiu Gherman and Tyler Mehlenbacher
7. Mr. Morale (Feat. Tanna Leone)
Produced by Pharrell Williams
8. Mother I Sober (Feat. Beth Gibbons)
Produced by Bekon, J.LBS and Sounwave
9. Mirror
Produced by Bekon, Craig Balmoris, DJ Dahi, Sergiu Gherman, Sounwave, Tim Maxey and Tyler Mehlenbacher