This is not a drill, I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Kendrick Lamar, the talented mastermind behind the Grammy-awarding winning album To Pimp a Butterfly, or TPAB as the kids are calling it, has blessed the world with a surprise eight track release called untitled unmastered. Sounds like something we would title an Expos 20 essay, tbh.
The album is a collection of eight songs named after the date they were recorded. It has been reported that all of the tracks were outtakes that didn’t quite make the cut for To Pimp a Butterfly, but Kendrick liked them so much that he felt the people deserved to hear them. We are all so #blessed. Because of this, untitled unmastered. is being widely considered as more of a companion album to TPAB rather than a totally brand-new concept.
The whole record has a very stripped down, unprocessed, and dare we say ‘unmastered’ atmosphere. Kendrick pushes the free-jazz, experimental vibes that made TPAB so revolutionary even further, lacing each track with acoustic drumming (none of that artificial 808 nonsense for him), piano riffs, and the soulful wailing of saxophones. Oh, and can’t forget about a sick bassline to lay down the groove that we all expect from him.
In terms of lyricism, Kendrick is back with his politically charged and oh-so-relevant themes, spitting the truth left and right while leaving all of our minds blown. The line “Pimp, pimp, hooray!” pops up several times over the course of the album, unifying the tracks and creating a very complete feel to a work that otherwise plays up its unfinished edges, similar to the unfinished nature of the essay you submitted at 11:59 last night. untitled unmastered. features guest appearances from Cee-Lo Green and Jay Rock, and there is even a song produced by Alicia Keys’ five-year-old son (step aside Blue Ivy). Warning: hearing a young child who is richer and more famous than you’ll ever be may make you question whether or not that college degree is even worth it.
The new album/EP/collection of absolutely genius tracks is available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, and Tidal. Don’t worry, this isn’t a repeat of Mr. West’s refusal to give The Life of Pablo to us broke college kids.
Now go forth and have your life changed by the soon-to-be legendary untitled unmastered. Who needs to study for midterms, anyways?