All around, fans of hip-hop rejoiced on March 3rd, 2016 when Kendrick Lamar surprised everyone with the release of the follow-up album to his hugely successful and insightful To Pimp A Butterfly. The eight track project features no album name or track names, but, however, does bring in a few key features on the project even though they are not listed on the track list. Many of the songs seem to be demos and or throw away tracks from the To Pimp a Butterfly recording sessions and the similar sound and subject content ring true throughout.
The surprise album was expected by no one, however, multiple songs from the project were released in earlier performances. Such as, the Grammy performance of “Untitled 05” and The Colbert Show performance of “Untitled 03”. The production sound makes a clear connection to the To Pimp A Butterfly vibes and continues Kendrick Lamar’s foray into more older soul or blues sounding instrumentation. Album credits go to a list of extremely talented producers as well including Ali, Cardo, Nard B, and Frank Dukes. Production credit to the song “Untitled 7 even lists Swizz Beats and his 5 year old son Egypt Dean. Kendrick seems comfortable in this style of making music and it definitely flows naturally. On this album you will get a little bit of everything that Kendrick is great at, some singing, thought provoking lyrical content, and of course the spitfire energy filled verses. Features consist of Top Dawg affiliates like Jay rock and punch, but also features some talented artists like Anna Wise, Cee Lo green, Terrace Martin, and Thundercat.
Following the success of To Pimp A Butterfly, which won six Grammys in 2016, Untitled Unmastered seems to be a celebratory victory lap on the amazing achievements that Kendrick has done. Whether it be from vocalizing the ideas brought forth by the black communities or channeling the frustrations of the poor youth, Lamar Bridges these gaps by revisiting his roots and using the older blues and soul style samples to create a one of a kind piece of art. Kendrick Lamar is at the height of his career and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. The same goes for his label mates at Top Dawg Entertainment because a recent news has surfaced that every member of the label will be dropping a new project this year and even announced the exciting suspense of two new artists to be signed. These new artists have yet to be named, but it’s clear that TDE is looking to cap off a great 2015 with a huge 2016! You can buy the album on ITunes or stream it below through Spotify.