This Was Probably My Least Favorite Kendrick Album & That's Not a bad thing. The Album Review
Only Beyonce, Drake, Jay-Z, J-Cole, Kanye & Kendrick can drop an album and everything shuts down. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the album finally came.
Kendrick also gave us a "Lyrical Curveball" by dropping a dynamic video and song "The Heart Pt 5"
But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about the new ALBUM and why I feel that it's my least favorite.
The album starts off letting the listeners know from the gate that for the last 1,855 days Kendrick's been going through something and we should all be afraid.
"..United in Grief" starts the therapy session confessing about reckless spending consisting of a house overlooking the hills, Rolex watches, Porche and Mercedes G-Wagon that were all for rap appearances but didn't feed his soul. Within the song,"Kenny" goes straight storytelling mode telling us about his trauma bonding with a lite green eyed model he met in Chicago and how the weight of the world is already on his shoulders with his rich lifestyle that even his cousin Keem was wilding out buying 4 cars. Basically Kendrick "Grieves Different" and this album is the release.
Next N95 isn't about Covid, vaccines and N95 masks, it's about the masks we all wear including himself and how ugly we are when all the material things are removed.
Kodak Black makes his first of many appearance on "Worldwide Steppers" which is pure spoken word poetry touching on KDot's daughter, his son and of course him "fucking a white bitch"for the first and second time.
"Die Hard" in my opinion will be on the radio a lot because it's a harmless and catchy. Side note can we give Phonte his roses for creating this type of lane because this a F.E. song for real?
With "Father Time" Kendrick goes deeper into therapy talking about his "Daddy Issues" on how having a father in your life can be damaging too especially if he doesn't show affection, suppresses feelings and gives wrong messages on how to treat a woman.
Rich Spirit SLAPS! But it's more than just the beat, it's more confessions of his dark side.
"We Cry Together"? Lord have mercy. I've lived it and also heard it through thin wall apartments from neighbor. It's dope how Kendrick brings that old feeling back because Ice Cube and Yo-Yo did something like on "It's a Man's World" but Kendrick took it to another level (As always) by showing us how the most fucked up relationships start off disrespectful but end with fucking and forgiving.
"Purple Heart" left me wounded because I expected so much more especially when you have one of my favorite rappers Ghostface Killer linking up with my other favorite rapper.
After "Count Me Out" many listeners including myself are wondering how they feel about this album because we're kinda at the halfway mark and you realize that this isn't Damn, Good Kid Madd City, Section 80 or TPAB. Some might even be disappointed with the album so far and are looking for more which is why "Crown" comes next letting us spoiled fans "I can't please everybody".
"Silent Hill" Only Kendrick can make a gun silencer sound slap! Damn told us that Kendrick could make slapping a bitch "look sexy" but with Silent Hill we're going to "Push this niggas off me like Huhhhhhh" all summer on IG and Tik Tok I can see it.
"Savior"tells us to stop idolizing people like people like Lebron, J Cole & Future (Please stop idolizing Future) and then gets into more SLAP!! Anytime we get an “Ayyyyeee" from Kenny, a good time is about to happen. But over that "Good time" he wonders "Are you happy for me?" because for over a decade Kendrick has given you his life, where he's come from, where he's been and where he's trying to go but are we truly happy about his journey or just want more songs that sound like this?
Ok, enough of the 'Slap' let's get back to the therapy with "Auntie Diaries" and how as a young child to now deals with family members who made life changing discoveries about themselves. I won't speak on this matter too much because I want the listeners to come to their own conclusions. Dope concept though.
"Mother I Sober" is the after effects of "Father Time" and secrets that happen in the black families for too ofter we don't talk about enough so KDot did and he did it flawlessly.
So I know what you, the reader is thinking "Shawn, you said "Flawlessly" "Slap" several times" and constantly talked well about the album so why is your least favorite?"
Well, it's because in my personal opinion Kdot like many other greats (Jay-Z, Kanye and Nas) don't compete against other artist they only compete against their own art and "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" is pure art. More art than the Pulitzer Prize winning Damn,
My favorite KDot album Good Kid Madd City and dug more deeper than the controversial but strong album TPAB
And like TPAB I was ready for the album but not ready for what I received and that's what true artists do. If you wait 5 years for art from an artist but expect the same ole same then you're foolish but also human. This album in my opinion sonically, lyrically & conceptional wise is an 8. An 8 for a lot of rappers 10 years deep is a great score but for Kendrick is a drop off, not fair but it is My Truth. Good Kidd Madd City is a 10. TPAB is a 9.5 and I don't care what the haters say, Damn and Section 80 are 8.5's to 9s, I look at the other projects like mixtapes, so when you give Mr. Morale an 8 that makes it "My least favorite" even though I love this album.
But let's dig deeper into my conclusion.
It's also because I also don't like to see myself, my true self my Daddy Issues, Toxic relationships, living for other people's acceptance and homophobia/transphobia that I haven't fully overcome given to me when all I really wanted was to deflect and hide in other rapper's reality.
These types of reviews are probably why 3000 is walking aimlessly through Idaho, playing a flute because he's not letting us fuck up his happiness.