Rank It: “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” - Kendrick Lamar

Opinion posted January 26, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by Matthew Peters.

After a 1,855-day hiatus since the release of DAMN, (2017) Kendrick Lamar gifts fans with the long-awaited release of “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”. (2022)

#19: “We Cry Together”

What on earth is this? He took a chance; it did not work.

#18: “Worldwide Steppers”

Very strange lyrics. Feels off-beat.

#17: “Rich- Interlude”

…Kodak? Cool piano riffs behind the interlude.

#16: “United in Grief”

He’s back! Sets a dark tone with the opening track.

#15: “Count Me Out”

Mirrors a lot of the messages discussed in the first half of the album. This marks the intro of the “second part” of the album.

#14: “Silent Hill”

There is absolutely no reason why this song is this catchy. It is such a simple song, but it strangely works with Kodak.

#13: “Crown”

Super chill song which includes deep social commentary regarding love and faith.

#12: “Die Hard”

Kendrick acknowledges his faults and opens up to his audience. The features fit the song really well.

#11: “Savior- Interlude”

Baby Keem snapped. Was not expecting this from an interlude.

#10: “Purple Hearts”

Half of a love song. Very production heavy. Did not love the Summer Walker feature but Ghostface Killah was on point.

#9: “Rich Spirit”

Shows off his lyricism with an emphasis on his security and confidence. Country-Kendrick returns.

#8: “Savior”

Production elements shined on this track and Baby Keem fit perfectly. Includes heavy political elements regarding Covid and lessons about envy.

#7: “The Heart Part 5”

“To Pimp a Butterfly” feels to it. Crazy production with a really interesting beat breakdown.

#6: ”N95”

One of the only party songs on the album. Attacks materialism and society as a whole, and encourages self-advocacy.

#5: “Mr. Morale”

Beautiful eerie song. Kendrick’s flow worked really well with the beat and the background vocals.

#4: “Mirror”

This is the first time on the album that Kendrick uncovers selfish tendencies and hints at progress in personal growth.

#3: “Auntie Diaries”

Kendrick tackles heavy concepts including his transgender aunt and the church’s reaction. Kendrick also identifies his own feelings on the topic. This isn’t meant to be a song you play on repeat; it’s simply art to appreciate.

#2: “Mother I Sober”

Darkest song off the album. Domestic abuse and the effects of familial problems are examined and dissected in this song. He uses the idea of sobriety in parallel to facing fears directly.

#1: “Father Time”

Far and away is the best song of the album. He specifically references examples of his childhood trauma with his father. A beautifully grim story about generational issues regarding men’s mental health. Perfect feature with insightful lyrics.

Matthew Peters is a first-year majoring in Journalism. To contact him, email mbp5830@psu.edu.