Kendrick Lamar's New Album Is Full of Berklee Collaborators

Berklee alumni played significant roles in every step of the creation of Kendrick's double album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

May 13, 2022

This week Kendrick Lamar dropped Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, the most anticipated and well-kept musical secret of the year. Kendrick officially announced the album last month, but shared little information and even less music from the project until today's release. As it turns out, one of the surprises in store for the Berklee community was just how many alumni share credits with Kendrick and his list of all-star collaborators on the new double album. It's not the first time Berklee grads have been spotted on a Kendrick Lamar project—singer Anna Wise ’10 was featured on Lamar's 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and Matt Shaeffer ’12 worked with the artist on his Black Panther soundtrack—but this new project features even more Berklee connections than past efforts. See the full list of alumni collaborators below:

  • Matt Schaeffer is credited with his production team Beach Noise across much of the album’s tracks, including the opening track “United in Grief” and the early standout “Father Time,” as producer, composer, engineer, studio personnel, and even occasional lyricist. In 2019, Schaeffer received his first Oscar nomination for his engineering and mixing work on Kendrick's “All of the Stars” (featuring SZA) from the Black Panther soundtrack.

  • Michelle Mancini B.M. ’08 is credited as the album’s mastering engineer. Earlier this year Mancini earned a Grammy for her work on Jon Batiste’s We Are, which won Album of the Year.
     
  • Andrew Boyd B.M. ’16 is credited as an assistant engineer and a member of the studio personnel throughout most of the album.
     
  • Kaushlesh “Gary” Purohit ’16 is credited as an assistant engineer and member of the studio personnel on “Father Time.”
     
  • Logan Haynes B.M. ’17 is credited as an assistant engineer and member of the studio personnel on “We Cry Together.”
     
  • Evan Fulcher B.M. ’19 is credited as an assistant engineer and member of the studio personnel on “Purple Hearts.”
     
  • River Tiber, the musical project of Tommy Paxton-Beesley B.M. ’11, was sampled on “Savior,” earning Paxton-Beesley credit as a producer and lyricist on the track. 
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