In the summer of 2021, Kendrick Lamarannounced that he was working on his final full-length record for Top Dawg Entertainment, the label that has released everything from his early mixtapes to his most recent album, 2017’s Pulitzer Prize-winningDAMN. Now, we finally have a title and release date for the rapper’s much-anticipated fifth album.
Titled Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, the album is set to arrive in May 2022, as teased by Lamar through the cryptic website named after his moniker, oklama.com.
A note posted to the site 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 launched pgLang with longtime collaborator Dave Free back in 2020, describing the enterprise as an “artist friendly” company that is “at service to creators and projects that selflessly speak with, and for, the shared experiences that connect us all”.
Previously, the To Pimp a Butterfly rapper used oklama.com to address the lack of new material over the last few years, barring live appearances and guest spots on tracks by Busta Rhymes and Baby Keem, and the Lion King soundtrack. “I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts,” reads a message posted August 2021. “Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence. I go months without a phone.”
“Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family. While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.”
“As I produce my final TDE album, 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. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”
Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is scheduled to arrive on May 13, 2022. View the announcement below.