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New York, NY – Kendrick Lamar brought his newest album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers on SNL in the evening of Saturday (October 1st).).
Inaugurated by comedian Miles Teller, the Pulitzer Prize winner performed a trio of songs from his highly-acclaimed fifth album.
With a pink hoodie on along with a trucker hat and black leather pants with a selection of jewelry, Kendrick opened with “Rich Spirit” while seated in a dim, dimly-lit cube — an homage towards the Big Steppers Tour that asked the audience to “help Mr. Morale get out of the box.”
The song was in its middle the simple design of the stage was transformed into magical effects as K. Dot’s shadow that could be seen projected on the wall in front of him started to move by itself.
This Compton native then turned up the intensity by changing to “N95,” becoming more animated as the lights show unfolded in front of the singer.
A variety of messages were projected onto the walls, including: “Lil L Got His Passport Yall,” “4 Peez Kee Riches,” “The Homie Jason Keaton Wrote Two Books In Prison The Edges [And] Envy In The Eyes” and “Yea We Still Playing Industry Politics.”
Kee Riches, who is a friend of Los Angeles rapper, was murdered and shot in Compton on the 24th of September in Compton, and Keaton is a Compton-born author who Kendrick has mentioned in his songs previously (see”Uncle Bobby & Jason Keaton,” 2009’s “Uncle Bobby & Jason Keaton”).
Kendrick came back later to sing “Father Time” with British musician Sampha Sampha, who was also on the stage, which was newly decorated featuring a bed an armchair and bedside table, a lamp, and a stack of books.
The set yet again came to life as the walls slowly closed in on the duo, seemingly reflecting the emotionally-restricted upbringing that K. Dot unpacks on the song.
“I come from a generation of home invasions and I got daddy issues, that’s on me / Everything them four walls had taught me, made habits bury deep,” he sings.
Kendrick’s flamboyant attire was changed to an edgier outfit, including the custom blue pgLang L.A. Dodgers cap — which his long-time manager and pgLang companion Dave Free insisted is for members only. “You must be a member of Pg to have a fitting. It’s not for auction,” he tweeted during the broadcast.
Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers medley marked his fifth appearance on SNL and the first time since 2004.
He debuted in 2013 with the the good kid m.A.A.d city songs “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice,” before returning in 2014 to sing the his upcoming To Pimp A Butterfly singles “i” and “Pay For It” with Jay Rock and singer/pianist Chantal Kreviazuk.
He’s also performed on two occasions as a guest performing with Imagine Dragons for “Radioactive” in 2014 and working with Anderson .Paak with “Tints” in 2018.
Kendrick has been making appearances on stages throughout the world in the last few months. From July to September the singer filled venues across North America on his Big Steppers Tour with fellow PgLang signingees Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. The duo also performed at Glastonbury Festival and Rolling Loud Miami in the summer of this year.
As for Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers The album was released at No. 1 . on the Billboard 200 in May after receiving 295,000 album equivalent units in its initial week. The album has since passed 1 billion stream on Spotify -the first album by a rapper of the year to accomplish this feat, and is said to have sold more than 800,000 albums across the U.S.
The project has led Kendrick into nine nominations for the 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards which include Hip Hop Artist of the Year, Hip Hop Album of the Year, and Lyricist Of the Year.
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