Kendrick Lamar discusses R. Kelly’s abuse and fall on his new album.
Kendrick Lamar‘s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is finally here, and it’s clear that the now-legendary rapper has a lot on his mind. Ever since Lamar announced the project would be a double album and released the lyrical whopper “The Heart Part 5,” fans knew they were in for a lot of bars to dissect.
Throughout the massive project’s runtime, Kendrick gives his thoughts on many current events, such as Kyrie Irving’s anti-vaxx stance and Drake and Kanye West’s reunion. On his songs “We Cry Together” and “Mr. Morale,” the rapper touches on another hot-button topic: R. Kelly.
R. Kelly leaves a court hearing – Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
“We Cry Together” finds Kendrick in an intense domestic dispute with feature Taylour Paige. The two exchange heated bars, with Paige at one point yelling, “You the reason Harvey Weinstein had to see his conclusion / You the reason R. Kelly can’t recognize that he’s abusive.” Without pause, Kendrick responds: “Man, shut the f**k up, we all know you still playin’ his music.”
The exchange is in reference to R. Kelly’s history of sexual misconduct, which culminated in being found guilty sexual abuse charges, including sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. The disgraced RnB legend recently cut ties with his legal team and hired Bill Cosby’s lawyer, all after coming down with COVID in jail.
Kendrick also mentions Kelly on “Mr. Morale,” rapping, “I think about Robert Kelly / If he weren’t molested, I wonder if life’ll fail him.” Here, Lamar is referencing the fact that R. Kelly himself was abused as a child.
Check out both songs below, as well as Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which is out on Spotify and Apple Music.