In a world of click bait, viral videos and an online mania that can die just as fast as it rises, Now we’re all over the shock of Kendrick Lamar’s surprise album, did it live up to musical expectations? new alum Untitled Unmastered was dropped into the scene with not one bit of pre-release hype.
Kendrick Lamar shocked the world when he dropped Untitled, Unmastered with no prior warning, but does it live up to his towering standards?
More a collection of demos than an actual album, Unitlted Unmastered is an extension of work he was creating for To Pimp A Butterfly. Brilliant in paring back the online overshare, allowing the frenetic buzz of the internet to take care of marketing the album.
Besides dates the songs were produced and the track number, Kendrick even fails to give his music a title. Untitled Unmastered makes a statement in completely speaking for itself from a rapper whose musical vision distinctly sets him as a leading voice. With a hook between a number of the tracks “Pimp! Pimp! Hooray” Lamar delivers a heavily inspired jazz-funk feel with scathing politically charged lyrics.
With live, late night performances on the Colbert Report and Jimmy Fallon, as well as lyrics “I made to pimp a butterfly for you” in Untitled 1, Lamar has produced this music and has been teasing fans well before his previous album release. Kendrick Lamar has continued to experiment fusing jazz and funk sound with his rap. Perhaps leaving some fans of simple hip hop beats in the lieu, whilst pulling in a wider scope of fans who may have, originally, had no interest.
The longer you listen, the more jazz inspired the work becomes, namely so in Untitled 5. From the groove rhythm of the bass, scaling piano and swirling horns, the track begins like an instrumental jam session between musicians. Kendrick does not wait long to get involved. Rapping with a trademark aggression spurting fireworks like “See I’m livin’ with anxiety, duckin’ the sobriety/Fuckin’ up the system/I ain’t fuckin’ with society.” Featuring artists such as Terrace Martin, Anna Wise and TDE’s Jay Rock and Punch, layers of texture are weaved in, adding to the already rich soundscape the whole album.
As Untitled Unmastered evolves to include more funk, especially in the final song. With a twanging electric riff and dipping beat, Untitled 8 plays into giving a serious lyrical story behind a terribly catchy song. “I wrote this song looking at a broke home baby/You know the poverty stricken the little broke boy and babies,” Lamar’s rapping constantly a politically charged statement and reflection of the world around him.
Untitled Unmastered is a collection of poetic, brilliantly crafted work. The ever so serious and mysterious Kendrick Lamar is looser in this album. More experimental. Willing to combine genres, collaborate with a plethora of artists and explore different vocal elements of his own voice, Untitled Unmastered may seem like the b-side tracks of TPAB but has the strength to hold its own.
Check it our for yourself here.