Kendrick Lamar has unveiled the cover art for his much-anticipated album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
The image shows Kendrick standing with his back to the camera while holding a child. The Compton rapper dons a barbed-wire crown, a white tee, and a pair of khakis with a gun placed in the waistband. A woman is seen in the backdrop, sitting on a bed and cradling a baby. According to Pitchfork, the photo was taken by Renell Medrano — the Bronx native who also shot the cover for ASAP Ferg’s 2016 project, Always Strive And Prosper.
Kendrick shared the cover art less than 48 hours before Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers hits streaming services. Earlier this week, K.Dot unleashed “The Heart Part 5” track along with its official video, in which he transforms into different Black celebrities — Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, Will Smith, and more — through the use of deepfake technology. The visual was co-directed by Kendrick and Dave Free. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker assisted the video.
It’s unclear if the song will land on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, as Kendrick has yet to share its full tracklist. The Grammy-winning artist addressed the album in a lengthy statement back in August, saying it would mark his final release under Top Dawg Entertainment, the label he’s called home since his teenage years.
“[…] As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years, ”he message read in part. “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. There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough. ”
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, drops this Friday, May 13, more than five years after K.Dot unleashed the Pulitzer Prize-winning album, DAMN. Stay tuned more information about the effort becomes available.