Kendrick Lamar has released the cover art for his new album Morale & The Big Steppers. The cover shows Lamar with his partner and two children, a rare sighting as the prolific rapper keeps the details of his personal life private. Additionally, Lamar was recently seen in Ghana. The release of his cover art comes amid critical praise for his newest music video. On Sunday, May 9, Lamar released the visual for his single "The Heart Part 5." Lamar directed the video alongside Dave Fee. it's his first release in five years.
Throughout the video, Lamar morphs into the face of several public, and sometimes controversial figures, using deepfake technology. Deepfake uses a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images of fake events. In the video, he morphs into OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West aka Ye, and Hussle. The song features lyrics about racism and social.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers pic.twitter.com/tLcJDyNxVe— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) May 11, 2022
The 5-minute music video begins by opening with a black title screen with a statement in white that reads: "I am. All of us. -oklama." It was an instant hit, amassing 9 million views within 24 hours.
The most-talked-about portion of the song features Lamar rapping as Hussle from Heaven in the final verse. Hussle's long-term partner, Lauren London, gave the video her stamp of approval in an Instagram Story writing "Powerful Art."
For the album release, he's getting critical acclaim. A review from The Guardian notes: "Lamar's lyrical skill is prodigious enough to make gripping rhymes from some very well-worn topics: fake news, the projection of false lifestyles via social media, the pressures of fame. But more notable still is his willingness to take risks." The publication gave the album five stars.
He's lauded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation and has been releasing music since 2003. Lamar hails from Compton, California and though his music has West Coast influences, he merges lots of hip hop elements.