Kendrick is no slacker. The Compton-born MC made a name for himself in the early 2010’s dominating the West Coast rap scene. He got his big break in 2012 with the release of “Swimming Pools (Drank).”
The song was featured on Kendrick’s sophomore album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, which later earned the rapper four GRAMMY nominations. While Kendrick walked away empty-handed at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, the album paved the way for the rapper’s triumphant career.
But has his stint in the music industry come to an end? Let's explore rumors that suggest Kendrick is retiring from the rap game.
Why did people think Kendrick Lamar was retiring?
Speculation that Kendrick would retire early began in 2021 after the rapper announced that DAMN would be his last album released under the record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE).
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” on his website. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood.”
Fears that K-Dot would be retiring resurfaced in 2022 after a tweet from hip-hop enthusiast SK went viral.
“Kendrick Lamar is officially retired,” SK wrote.
The revelation sent Kendrick’s fans into a frenzy, as many questioned why the award-winning rapper would step away from his music career at the height of his fame.
Shortly after the tweet went viral, Kendrick responded to the message with a link to Oklama.com without any additional context.
Upon clicking the link, fans were directed to a press release that revealed the release date for Kendrick’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers album, his fifth studio album and the first to be released under his own label, PGLang.
The project dropped in May of 2022, just weeks after the tweet about his retirement was posted. The wildly successful album's rollout brought rumors of retirement to a halt — for now, at least.
Was 'Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers' Kendrick Lamar's last album?
Although some fans fear that Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers will be Kendrick's last album, we doubt it. After all, his latest work was a glowing display of Kendrick’s lyrical prowess.
It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200 thanks to the success of its three singles: “The Heart Part 5,” “Silent Hill,” and “Die Hard.”
Kendrick previously opened up about the process of making the critically acclaimed album and explained that his personal growth contributed to the theme of the record.
“I’m not even the same person I was yesterday,” Kendrick told Complex.
“That’s what keeps me creative. I have so much discipline as far as repetition — I don’t give a f--k if it’s a thousand push-ups or pull-ups or whatever, but it’s always that extra five percent. I’m like, 'What am I on today?'”
Kendrick hasn't put out a complete project since 2022 but he has not stopped making music. In May, he appeared on “The Hillbillies,” alongside his cousin, rapper Baby Keem.