Kendrick Lamar has announced his long-awaited new album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, which will arrive May 13.
The rapper shared the news on Instagram in a letter under his moniker, Oklama, and shared on letterhead for company pgLang. “The following statement was released today by oklama through his company pgLang at 11 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.”
A note at the bottom of the letter added: “Appreciate Your Patience.”
The official announcement of Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers comes months after Lamar offered fans an update on the album last August. In a note posted on his website, Oklama.com, Lamar noted that the record would be his final with his longtime label, TDE: “ 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.”
At the time, Lamar didn’t offer any specific details about the record, but did say, “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.”
Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers will be Lamar’s fifth studio album and first in five years, following 2017’s Damn (in 2018, he did anchor the Black Panther soundtrack). While Lamar hasn’t released any solo material since then, he’s popped up for a few features, including tracks with 2 Chains, Beyoncé, Raphael, Saadiq, Busta Rhymes, and Baby Keem. “Family Ties,” one of Lamar’s two 2021 songs with Keem, recently took home the Grammy for Best Rap Performance.