Kendrick Lamar has earned his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. According to Billboard, Kendrick’s fifth studio album pulled in roughly 295,000 total album-equivalent units in its first week, the largest week of the year for any album.
It tops Future’s I Never Liked You, which earned around 222,000 total album-equivalent units two weeks ago. But is anyone really surprised? The anticipation for a follow-up to 2017’s Pulitzer Prize-winning album DAMN. has been at a fever pitch for the past five years.
And judging by its reception, it was well worth the wait. The album has been heralded as some of Kendrick’s most introspective work and praised by fans and critics alike.
Boasting 18 tracks split into two nine-track segments, the Compton native’s latest effort features contributions from Summer Walker, Kodak Black, Ghostface Killah, Baby Keem and Blxst, among others.
The long-awaited album also smashed the Apple Music record for first-day streams. As the company explained in a tweet, “Shout out @kendricklamar. K-Dot’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers had the most first-day streams for an album released so far in 2022.”
The dense project clocks in at around 75 minutes and requires multiple listens to truly grasp its layered concepts. From “United in Grief” to “We Cry Together” and “Auntie Diaries” to “Mother I Sober,” it’s an exercise in intense listening and undoubtedly commands everyone’s undivided attention. Pull out some headphones and check it out above.