According to Billboard, Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers has had the highest No. 1 Billboard launch of 2022 so far. With 295,500 album-equivalent sales, Mr. Morale surpassed Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti top of 274,000; Bad Bunny had previously surpassed Future’s I Never Liked You peak of 222,000. On the Billboard 200 chart, this is Lamar’s fourth No. 1 album.
Last summer, the Pulitzer Prize–winning rapper announced that he was working on new material on a new website called Okloma. He stated that this would be his last project with Top Dawg Entertainment. In February, he revealed his participation in the Super Bowl halftime concert alongside Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Eminem.
Lamar extended his “The Heart” singles series with “The Heart Part 5” ahead of Mr. Morale’s release. Along with South Park founders Matt Parker and Trey Stone, he created the deepfake video for the tune, in which he wore the masks of O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, and others, but the track was not included on the album, as is customary for the series. Shortly after the album’s release, Lamar released a video for Mr. Morale’s “N95.” Beginning in July, he’ll tour the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand with Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. His tour includes appearances at Glastonbury and Rolling Loud Miami.
Mr. Morale was released five years after its predecessor Damn., for which Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for becoming the first hip-hop artist to do so. Between solo albums, Lamar organized and performed on the Black Panther soundtrack, which garnered him a Grammy for Best Rap Performance for his collaboration with Jay Rock on the song “King’s Dead.” They had to share the award with Anderson in the end. Paak.
In recent years, Lamar has appeared on a number of other tunes, including “Range Brothers,” “Vent,” and “Family Ties,” the latter of which won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance. He’s also appeared on “Look Over Your Shoulder” by Busta Rhymes, “Drones” by Terrace Martin, and “Hair Down” by Sir.
Outside of music, Lamar has focused his efforts on pgLang, a media company he co-founded with longtime friend and collaborator Dave Free, who announced his resignation from Top Dawg Entertainment in late 2019. In addition to releasing Baby Keem’s The Melodic Blue, the organization has worked on Calvin Klein and Converse advertisements. Lamar is also collaborating with Matt Stone and Trey Parker on a live-action comedy film.
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