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Well, that’s one way to deliver baby news: See Kendrick Lamar’s new album cover

A man rapping into a microphone and raising his arm in an all-white outfit on a stage
Kendrick Lamar performs at the 2021 Day N Vegas music festival.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Kendrick Lamar just unveiled a new album cover — and a new baby?

On social media Wednesday, the rapper debuted the intimate artwork for his forthcoming album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” In the image — photographed by Renell Medrano — Lamar carries his 2-year-old daughter while his fiancée, Whitney Alford, cradles an infant that appears to be the couple’s second child.

The famously private hip-hop star — who wears a braided crown of thorns in the photo — never publicly disclosed that he and Alford were expecting another baby, and Alford has not documented a pregnancy on social media. However, the artist does mention his “kids,” plural, in the lyrics of his latest single, “The Heart Part 5.”

‘The Heart Part 5' is Lamar’s first song as lead artist since 2018 and the first track from his upcoming album, ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,’ due Friday.

A representative for Lamar did not immediately respond Thursday to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.

In April, Lamar announced that he would be releasing his first solo record in five years after a fan jokingly accused him of quitting music. The highly anticipated album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” arrives Friday.

It’s been half a decade since Lamar released his last solo studio effort, “Damn.,” which received five Grammy Awards, including for rap song and rap album. The acclaimed collection was also nominated for album of the year, while the hit single “Humble.” competed for record of the year.

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Just days ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited new album, here’s a rundown of what the Compton hip-hop star has been up to since the release of 2017’s ‘Damn.’

In 2018, Lamar collaborated with SZA and others on the soundtrack for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which also scored a Grammy nomination for album of the year. Most recently, he joined forces with his cousin, Baby Keem, on the latter’s “Family Ties,” which won the Grammy for rap performance in April. He later united with Baby Keem onstage for an epic live performance of “Family Ties” at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

On Monday, Lamar dropped the music video for “The Heart Part 5,” which sees the musician transform into O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett and Kobe Bryant. As of Thursday morning, the buzzy video had amassed more than 19 million views on YouTube.

“As I get a little older, I realize life is perspective and my perspective may differ from yours,” Lamar muses in the intro to the song.

“I want to say thank you to everyone that’s been down with me. All my fans, all my beautiful fans, anyone who’s ever gave me a lesson. All my people.”


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