The Big Steppers
For my final project I choose to review and compare songs for Kendrick Lamars final studio album Mr Morale and the big steppers. for my inhale i revisited the goal of tone and mood, and for my exhale incorporated different quotations in my artist statement making sure to track my sources. My exhale for the project is an artwork that has different images and statements surrounding the head of Kendrick, each blurb have different literal or inferential understandings.
The artwork is shown above. Artist statement below
Kendrick Lamar artwork artist statement
In my artwork, there are many ideas that try to represent different key elements in Kendrick Lamar’s 5 and final studio album Mr Morale, and the big steppers. The main stand-out part of the artwork is the head of Kendrick Lamar with the crown shown on the album cover, otherwise, the centerpiece is just the base. Then surrounding the centerpiece are little bubbles or words representing each and every song( aside from the interludes) in Mr morale and the big steppers. Even though the color is not significantly shown it is a very key element that has a lot to what is said in the album. First I will start with the significance of the pictures.
Every image bubble I drew, all have a literal or an inferential understanding of each song. For example a line in Kendrick Lamar’s song “Purple Hearts'' he sings “ I know y’all love it when the drugs talkin’, but shut the F*** up when you hear love talkin’”, then I represented it with a pill( drugs) and the purple heart medallion because it shows how drugs have wounded Kendrick’s life. For a more literal example in the song “We cry together” they get into a similar back and forth argument like in 1993 when Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson argued, for the art piece it was just a man and a woman arguing back and forth. And one more example will be the image of the delivery room representing how Kendrick has daddy issues and he doesn't want his kids to have those too. This idea is shown in the song “Father Time” where he raps “I come from a generation of home invasions and I got daddy issues, that's on me”, this line gives proof of his experience with what he calls toxic masculinity.
A more different subject in my artwork is the use of word statements. These word blurts are more like lines that could have been in the song but yet I made an inferential connection. As an example the song “United in Grief” Kendrick talks about his mental health struggles and gives insight into his personal therapy. The word statement I wrote resembled Bell's let's talk day where you can seek mental health support. Another example would be the blurb taking to Kendrick's mom, this comes from “Mother I Sober” where Kendrick reviews all the abuse that has affected him and his mother. One last example supporting my phrase choices is in Kendricks's song “Savior” in this song he references different role models in society saying that they cannot deal with every problem. This is represented in the line “Kendrick made you think about it but he is not your saviour”, this line is replaced with other rappers, and athletes. For that, I wrote, “I'm Only Human” which is a line from the song Human by Rag'n'Bone Man which holds a similar message.
My last important concept is my colour choice, which of an overarching theme of Kendricks's album. The black used is meant to represent his hard times and his dark times over the span of the 1855 days between albums. The black colouring all around the head of Kendrick is the idea of him hiding from the public, proof of his hiding was him deleting all of his social media posts. The blue is representing his sad times, like when his close friend/rapper Nipsey Hustle was shot dead outside of a store in L.A. The other meaning for the blue was that blue was the colour representing his struggles and addiction to lust which is a topic spanning between albums. The public knows this because in “Worldwide Steppers” he says “Ask Whitney about my lust addiction”). Whitney Alford is the wife and mother of Kendrick’s two kids.
All in All my artwork has shown multiple different tiny details to large ideas all revolving around Kendrick Lamars Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. My images have some literal concepts connected directly to their songs, and some have meanings that may be interpreted differently. In my word blurbs, I have included lines that could have been said by a person in Kendricks's life or just statements or events commonly known. And my colour choice meaning spans from Kendricks, dark times, sad times, he's hiding, and his strong lust addiction. This is my personal understanding of the album and you could have your own ideas.
My sources for this project were: Genius.com and Youtube.com