Apart from a small number of guest appearances and live sets, Kendrick Lamar has kept quiet these last few years — but it seems the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist is returning with another album next month.
According to a cryptic new press release, Lamar will release “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” on May 13.
Responding to an earlier tweet from SK that says, “Kendrick Lamar is officially retired,” the rap titan responded 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 project was 2017’s Grammy-winning “DAMN,” which was released just two days before his headlining Coachella set, also led to his Pulitzer Prize and made him the honoree at Variety’s inaugural Hitmakers event.
He followed a year later by curating and contributing several songs to the “Black Panther” soundtrack, including his duet with SZA, “All the Stars.” In 2021, he featured on two songs from his cousin Baby Keem’s latest album — “Range Brothers” and the Grammy-winning “Family Ties” — although those appearances just seemed to energize and make his fan base even more impatient.
There have even been several false alarms, such as a social media frenzy ignited last summer by his record label TDE, but that turned out to be a tease for the Isaiah Rashad album. As several fans pointed out on social media, Lamar announced his long-awaited new album via a minimalist fax page similar to the one Michael Jordan put out in March 1995 to announce he was ending his retirement and returning to the NBA.
If “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” turns out to be Lamar’s long-awaited fifth full album, sources say it is his last through TDE.
Additional reporting by Jem Aswad