Kendrick Lamar’s new project, Mr. Morale and Big Steps, garnering high praise from fans and critics alike. However, Kendrick is facing backlash for featuring Kodak Black on his famous album.
Following the release of Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album on Friday, May 13, K-Dot fans jumped to Twitter to call out the Compton, Calif. rapper for repeatedly featuring Kodak on the project amid allegations of sexual assault on him.
If you recall, in November 2016, Yak was charged with raping a teenage girl in her hotel room in South Carolina.
In April 2021, Kodak accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months probation. During his hearing, the South Florida rapper addressed the victim, who watched the proceedings on a virtual live stream. “I apologize for what happened, and I hope we can all move on,” he said.
Since the release of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, many people have criticized the former Top Dawg Entertainment artist for including Kodak in the project and trying to redeem a “problematic/toxic individual” through the topics of his album.
“I think we’ve gotten into this annoying trend of ‘conscious’ rappers/artists thinking they’re doing something enlightening and/or edgy trying to redeem and/or re-imagine problematic/toxic individuals in the Kendrick Lamar unfortunately chose Kodak Black on purpose,” journalist Ernest Owens tweeted.
“The betrayal stings because these artists think they’re giving these donkeys ‘grace’ in a way that society doesn’t – but they’re actually perpetuating a violent cycle of divorcing their true responsibility,” he said. he continued. “Why should black women and others be denied justice?”
“The annoying thing is that artists who know better should do better, but somehow they get passes in the name of ‘the human being,'” he said. -he adds. “Somehow ‘being human’ continues to look like collaborating with abusers and rapists, but never seeing solidarity with their victims. Hypocrisy.”
Owens went on to say that he saw no significant value in a Kodak Black feature on MM&TBS.
“There is nothing noble or complex or nuanced about Kendrick Lamar giving Kodak Black another check, another platform and another audience at a time when he continues to be involved in so many controversy,” he wrote. “Dude made a plea deal after being accused of raping a girl while she was in high school.”
Owens concluded, “Many of the themes of #MrMoraleAndTheBigSteppers are rooted in confronting the trauma of sexual abuse and/or the presumption of it. The fact that Kendrick Lamar includes Kodak Black on this album is a ‘contraction’ focus away from this exploration.
Many fans shared Ernest Owens’ criticism of Kodak’s presence on Kendrick’s album.
“I really love Kendrick Lamar’s album! And that being said, I hate the rapist in it all over it,” one user tweeted. “I expected better on that front. Seriously, Kodak is not so good for you to ignore the idc rape conviction.”
Check out more fan reactions from Kendrick Lamar featuring Kodak Black on his album below.
These Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Be Hit With Serious Backlash