On Sunday (June 19), the Compton rapper’s longterm partner Whitney Alford celebrated Father’s Day by posting a rare photo of her and Kendrick with their two young children, along with a heartfelt message about fatherhood.
Taken during a recent trip to Ghana, the beautiful family photo shows Kendrick kneeling down next to his daughter, who was born in July 2019, while Alford cradles their second child, whose birth was made public on the Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album cover.
“Happy Father’s Day fellas! Today I am more than happy to celebrate the men in my life,” Alford wrote. “I choose to celebrate them for stepping up instead of stepping out, for providing, for assisting us women, for healing, for showing up physically and most importantly for showing up emotionally.”
She continued, “In my life I’ve witnessed a great majority of father’s run from their responsibilities. I now understand that they were running from their own pain but children were left behind. I understand they couldn’t properly communicate with women so kids suffered the consequence of their absence. I understand they needed validation and most times it was sought after outside of the home. And it was quite painful for all of us who knew this upbringing.
“I was almost 30 the first time I celebrated Father’s Day and it’s still one of the hardest for me. I know there are many women like me. So men it’s not as important for us to celebrate you, as it is for You to celebrate You. Celebrate your contribution to the next generation. I am grateful for the men that are showing me a different picture, my lens was very narrow before but not anymore. Love you guys, keep showing up. Happy Father’s Day @kendricklamar.”
After remaining out of the spotlight for most of Kendrick Lamar’s career, Whitney Alford played a central role on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, urging her fiancé to go to therapy and share his truth while narrating tracks like “United in Grief,” “Father Time” and “We Cry Together.”
Kendrick addressed their relationship in candid (if not shocking) fashion on the somber “Mother I Sober,” on which he admitted to being unfaithful to his high school sweetheart, to whom he got engaged in 2015.
“Intoxicated, there’s a lustful nature that I failed to mention/Insecurities that I project, sleepin’ with other women/Whitney’s hurt, the pure soul I know, I found her in the kitchen/Askin’ God, ‘Where did I lose myself? And can it be forgiven?’” he rapped.
The song ends on a cathartic note, though, as Whitney tells Kendrick, “I’m proud of you. You broke a generational curse.” The couple’s two-year-old daughter also makes an appearance on the album with an adorable spoken word cameo at the end of the track.
In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone following the release of his previous album DAMN., Kendrick Lamar spoke about the importance of growing up with a father.
“It taught me how to deal with … emotions. Better than a lot of my peers,” he said. “When you see kids doing things that the world calls harmful or a threat, it’s because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. When you have a father in your life, you do something, he’ll look at you and say, ‘What the fuck is you doing?’ Putting you in your place. Making you feel this small.
“That was a privilege for me. My peers, their mothers and grandmothers may have taught them the love and the care, but they couldn’t teach them that.”