Rapper Kendrick Lamar set the internet ablaze this week as he revealed his first new album in five years.
The long-awaited fifth album, which will be titled Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, is due to come out in just a few weeks on 13 May.
The LA-based artist broke the news on social media and on his blog, by quote-tweeting a fan’s comment that Lamar had “officially retired”, alongside a link to the press release for the new record.
On his website Oklama, Lamar wrote: “As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. He added, “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.”
Lamar’s fans took to social media in the hours after the announcement to share their excitement. “He returns, tears in my eyes”, one wrote, while another tweeted: “I haven’t heard good music since 2018, it’s finally time”.
The news is a long time coming for fans: regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation, Lamar shot to fame in 2012 after releasing his major debut album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. Since releasing 2017’s critically acclaimed album DAMN., he has kept out of the spotlight, save for contributing to the soundtrack for the 2018 film Black Panther. He also made an appearance at the Super Bowl half time show earlier in the year, performing alongside artists including Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
The announcement comes amid a slew of new projects for Lamar: in January, it was revealed that the rapper would be teaming up with the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, to produce a live-action comedy film.
According to Variety, the film will be about “the past and present coming to a head when a young Black man, who is interning as a slave re-enactor at a living history museum, discovers that his white girlfriend’s ancestors once owned his.”