Kendrick Lamar gave us a lot to celebrate in 2022. Namely his long-anticipated first album in five years, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. The follow-up to the Pulitzer prize-winning Damn sees Kendrick once again placing the microscope firmly on himself as arguably the best rapper on the planet, waxing on subjects that other MCs wouldn’t touch. But besides putting out another brilliant album, it’s everything that surrounded that release that really made Kendrick Lamar stand out in 2022. Here are his best moments of the year:
Super Bowl Halftime show
Kendrick appeared with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent in February. Taking place at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, Kendrick let his hometown crowd know that he was back. The performance even netted three Emmy Awards.
“The Heart Part 5” video
Before Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers dropped, Lamar shared the video for what many thought would be the album’s first single. Turns out it was a one-off cut with an incredible video that was later tacked on as a bonus single on the streaming version of the record. The clip saw Kendrick using deep fake technology to morph into a variety of famous faces from OJ Simpson to Kobe Bryant, and Nipsey Hussle.
Inspiring Fans (And Security Guards) On The Big Steppers Tour
Shortly after Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers came out in May, Kendrick set off on a glorious tour. Portraying himself on stage as a Christ-like figure with a crown of thorns, his worldwide performances were highlighted by delivering an inspiring message to a young boy, using his Glastonbury platform to champion women’s rights, and making a security guard cry with his lyrics. The latter went extremely viral, and for good reason.
Security cried while Kendrick Lamar was performing. 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/pIZ2zIlii2
— Plugged Soundz (@Pluggedsoundz_) July 23, 2022
Saturday Night Live Performance
Kendrick’s third stint on SNL was another one for the ages. He performed a medley of “Rich Spirit” and “N95” and then brought out Sampha for “Father Time.” It was an incredible artistic display from the rapper, no doubt.
A Cherry On Top With Six Grammy Nominations
Kendrick led all rappers at the 2023 Grammy Awards with six total nominations and bringing his grand total to 47. Among this year’s awards, he’ll be up for Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year. It’s indeed the ultimate cherry on top for an illustrious 2022 for Kendrick, that’ll surely lead to a big 2023.