Go ahead and file Kendrick Lamar’s next album as perhaps the most highly anticipated album in not just hip-hop, but in any genre of music right now. The last time Lamar put out an album was in 2017, when DAMN debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music in addition to the Best Rap Album Grammy Award. The years since have been filled with rumor after rumor about the next Kendrick Lamar album, including a confirmation that his next release, will be his final album with the TDE Records label that he has been with since day one. And with each subsequent piece of information, we’ve gotten closer to knowing when this long-awaited release is coming. And now we know for certain.
When Is Kendrick Lamar Releasing A New Album?
This past August, Kendrick Lamar posted a note on his oklama.com website, where he said: “As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years.” This flared up the excitement for the new album, which was then fueled by Lamar’s Spotify avatar changing in October. It was the first time since the avatar changed in 2017 (the same year DAMN. came out. Coincidence?) Then at November’s Day N Vegas Festival, he closed his performance by saying to the crowd: “Vegas till next time! And when I say next time I mean very soon.”
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) August 20, 2021
When 2022 came, a new batch of rumors swirled, including that he’d be debuting new music before his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. That proved to be an unsubstantiated report pushed forth by radio host Ebro Darden. But the latest Kendrick Lamar-related news is the juiciest: Italy’s Milano Summer Festival posted on their Instagram page (in Italian of course) that not only would Lamar be performing at the June 23rd fest, but that he “will play the pieces of the new album, long-awaited by the fans.” Now we’re talking.
Depending on how you look at this statement from the Italian festival, it seemed likely that he would perform there before the album comes out. Which hints at a summer release. This would keep Lamar eligible for 2023 Grammy consideration, as the cut-off date is typically the end of September.
Meanwhile, Lamar is currently breaking down To Pimp A Butterfly on Spotify’s The Big Hit Show podcast. While TDE’s Terrence “Punch” Henderson has shared that he feels like Lamar is “ready to build his own thing,” following his final TDE album.
Update: On April 18th, Kendrick Lamar made an official announcement on his oklama.com website that his next album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is being released on May 13th.