Kendrick Lamar is coming to New Orleans with The Big Steppers Tour this month. Grab your tickets here.
Kendrick Lamar is indisputably one of the greatest rap artists of his generation. The Compton native has amassed 14 Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize over his five studio albums. His latest, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is currently being toured around the world. Kendrick Lamar and The Big Steppers tour will come through New Orleans with a performance at Smoothie King Center on Friday, July 29th.
Kendrick is one of those rare talents who’s been able to achieve both critical & commercial success while amassing the respect of the icons who originally inspired him. His breakthrough album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, showcased that talented lyricist’s ability to paint an intricate story with his music. Over 75 minutes, he tells the painful story of his youth spent surrounded by gangs and poverty in Compton, California. The album was named Best Album of 2012 by the BBC, Complex, Fact, New York and Pitchfork. His next three full-length albums, To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN., and 2022’s Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers further solidified his position at the pinnacle of modern hip-hop.
The Big Steppers Tour
Kendrick announced the worldwide tour for Mr. Morale just hours after the album dropped. The massive tour launches in Oklahoma City on July 19 and will move across North America, Europe, and Australia before closing in New Zealand late in December.
The tour sports the tagline, “come help Mr. Morale get out of the box”, and will be supported by Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. Baby Keem appeared on the Billboard charts with “Praise God”–a Kanye West collaboration–in 2021, and again with the song “Family Ties” featuring Baby Keem’s cousin: Kendrick Lamar. Tanna Leone is a rapper based out of Los Angeles and was one of the earliest signees to Kendrick’s pgLang imprint. Both artists appear on the Mr. Morale album, Keem on “Savior”, and Leone on “Mr. Morale”.
Some critics have noted the dense complexities and “frustratingly uneven” nature of Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers. It’s true that, even at his most commercial, Kendrick has never catered to pop music sensibilities, but he’s betting that fans will still connect with the songs live.
We’re still unsure what the production for the Big Steppers Tour will look like. When Kendrick came to New Orleans for Essence Festival in 2016 his presentation was straightforward, with no bells and whistles. He returned to NOLA for a headlining night at Voodoo Festival in 2017, again rapping to prerecorded tracks on a bare stage. Fanfare–or lack thereof– aside, Kendrick’s charisma and lyrics usually carry the show and ignite the audience.
Doors: 7:30 PM | Smoothie King Center | Fri. July 29th, 2022
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