Daily ArtEditors Pick

Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” Album Cover Art Deciphered

This time tomorrow Kendrick Lamar’s new and highly anticipated Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album would have dropped and so far his latest ‘The Heart Part 5’ single is doing wonders in terms of prepping us all for the immersive rap experience that’s about to be ushered in a couple of hours at this stage… 

Now, last night K.Dot finally revealed the official cover for the album which was shot by sought-after photographer Renell Medrano and the striking image features Kendrick embracing a child (his 2-year-old daughter,) in his arms while wearing a diamond Christ-like thorn crown. We then can also see a woman (his fiancée, Whitney Alford) at the back in bed holding an (infant) baby which also presents the first reveal of his second child. It’s quite obvious that there’s a lot of messaging going on here so I thought it would be cool to drop a young deciphering write-up as a means of sharing my interpretation of the image presented.

shot by @renellaice

So, above I sought of broke down a summary of what is depicted in the image but here is a more in-depth break down:

  • The Christ-like thorn crown obviously carries a religious tone which, in this case, is directly linked to Jesus Christ during his crucifixion and that could inspire themes such as sacrifice and redemption plus the fact that it’s made out of diamonds could associate it with the materialistic world we’ve been conditioned to in hip hop culture… A duality of real life and the more materialistic rap life.
  • The embracing of the kids creates a family ambiance that likely broadcasts a message of responsibility and heritage, in other words, how you live will transcend to the next generation that follows you. In this case, Kendrick is aware that his life has become bigger than him, in fact, it’s not even about him anymore… Think about the struggles of serving one’s self or others that are linked to you.
  • Then you have the state of the apartment or room they’re captured in which looks into how sometimes you have to make the best with what you have as each person’s standard of living on earth is different but that should not discourage you from moving forward or accepting your current circumstance… At least you have a roof over your head even though it’s not ideal right now.
  • Kendrick also seems to be staring towards the camera instead of the camera like that child he is embracing and that, for me, is another reminder of how the next generation is studying how we (the current leading gen) live our lives whereas Kendrick’s attention or mind is caught on to something on the horizon (good or bad) because if you look closely at his pants, K.Dot is strapped up because it is a dangerous world that we live and we need to protect what we value such as family which is pretty ironic considering it isn’t the best example to showcase those you believe in to create to a better world.

Yeah, so those are some interpretations I’ve had after having looked closely at the cover but feel free to hit me up with yours in the comments below.

shot by @renellaice
Okay, so I'm the Editor-in-Chief, and I kind of like pineapples on my pizza... Oh, I write sometimes too.

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