Kendrick Lamar is just days away from returning with his highly-anticipated album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers — and the rap magnate is teasing its release with a new photo that suggests fans may be getting more than just an LP when it arrives on May 13.
On Tuesday, the rapper uploaded a photo of himself holding a pair of CDs and a book in one hand as he crossed his legs on a Persian rug. The burgundy book is seen engraved with the title of the project, along with Lamar’s full name (as opposed to the Oklama moniker he’s been using in the album’s lead-up). As for the two CDs: one had the word “Steppers” (referencing the Big Steppers) and “master copy” on it, while the second read “Morale” (referring to Mr. Morale), each handwritten.
Lamar announced the arrival of his album with a press release featuring the letterhead of his company pgLang, and signed with his Oklama moniker. The letter states: “The following statement was released today by Oklama through his company pgLang at 11 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.”
A note at the bottom of the letter added: “Appreciate Your Patience.”
Lamar has been using his website Oklama.com to provide fans with sporadic details as he finished his first record since 2017’s Damn. The last update came in August, when he shared that he would make the new LP with Top Dawg Entertainment.
“I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood,” he wrote at the time. “May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”
Lamar also shared how his experiences would influence the project. “Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family,” he wrote. “While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.”
Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers marks Lamar’s fifth album, not counting his work on the Black Panther album in 2018. He’s since featured on songs by Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes, and Baby Keem, among others. (He won a Grammy for his work with Keem on “Family Ties.”)
The new LP is scheduled for May 13.