Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers drops on May 13, but fans have quickly speculated ahead of the release. While rumors and leaks have hinted at the potential tracklist and features, audiences have also taken a closer look for any significance behind the title of the album itself. Lamar has been well regarded for his craft in writing lyrics, and it’s not a reach to assume there’s a meaning behind his choice of the album title.
As Kendrick Lamar is no stranger to multiple aliases, some believe that “Mr. Morale” is in fact hinting at Lamar himself at this point in his career. After three previous studio albums, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers will hint at an entirely different curation style and perhaps a different version of Lamar that fans have not yet experienced. This could align seamlessly with his choice to sign off as “Oklama” in both his official press release as well as with the release of The Heart Part 5.
As “Mr. Morale,” now Lamar is at a point where others are looking to him as a role model or a source of inspiration, and thus he has a newly added responsibility placed on his shoulders. The music in his newest album may not only speak to his personal experiences but now to his impact on others. In his press release, Lamar highlighted the “cultural impact” of his creative process over the past 17 years. Both examples allude to a higher responsibility placed on him, to which he may refer to himself as “Mr. Morale” at this point in time.
As for the “Big Steppers,” this could both be a strategic hint to the dancers that could accompany him on stage as well as those that he inspires and seek to follow in his path. Lamar is known for his acclaimed visual performances so the “Big Steppers” label for his dancers makes sense. Yet it could speak to something else more noteworthy.
If it doesn’t allude to those hoping to follow in his path, it could refer to close family members or loved ones who hold great importance to Lamar. “Big” in this sense does not necessarily have to refer to established artists that may have been mentors or influenced him but instead could refer to those that carry a great value to him on a personal level.
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