Kendrick Lamar continues his winning streak with new album

Vincent Nguyen, Reporter

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As the clock struck midnight during the first Friday of March, there was a new Kendrick Lamar project out. The unexpected “untitled unmastered.” is a compilation album or EP of demos from his Grammy award-winning album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

There were teases, live performances and even a Spotify leak before the release, which was followed by bedlam all over the Internet.

The compacted eight-song, half-hour project is filled with jazz influences, funk grooves, and a dash of modern trap sounds, combined of course with the Compton rapper enforcing his thoughts on religion, society and introspection.

“untitled 01| 08.19.2014” is a bone chilling intro filled with powerful imagery. Over dark mashing drums and a heavy 808, Lamar warns humanity that Judgment Day is near if we keep going down a path of destruction. Lamar then explains himself as a prophet of God and with all the good he has done with his music and voice, he should have a place in heaven (Some of us never did wrong but still went to Hell // Geez Louise I thought you said that I excel // I made “To Pimp a Butterfly” ‘fore you told me // To use my vocals to save mankind for you.)

“Pimp-pimp hooray!” chants in the beginning of “untitled umastered 02 | 06.23.2014.” In this four-minute, 19-second song, Lamar expresses his frustration for people of his race over a woozy, dark, fluttering instrumental. (I see jiggab—, I see Styrofoams // My hood going brazy // Where did we go wrong?)

The third track, “untitled 03 | 05.28. 2013,” was first performed on the final episode of “The Colbert Report.” Over an upbeat, jazzy instrumental, Kendrick first raps about gaining advice and world views from minorities (Asian, Indian, African American.) The last part of the verse is ultimately a look into the “white man” or a music label executive’s view of the world. Lamar explains that the “white man” only sees him as a paycheck (A piece of mine’s, that’s what the white man wanted when I rhyme // Telling me that he selling me just for $10.99.) These deep messages and thoughts are a staple in Lamar’s music.

Two exceptional cuts from the EP/album are “untitled 05 | 09.21.2014.” and “untitled 07 | 2014-2016.”

The fifth track is a five-minute, 38-second song filled with crashing cymbals, a wobbling bassline, and flickering piano notes. The voice of Anna Wise, and verses from TDE’s (Top Dawg Entertainment) own Punch and Jay Rock are lent throughout the song.

The eight-minute, three-part track seven, is merged with a trap-inspired Part One, a braggadocios Part Two produced by Swizz Beatz five-year-old son (yes, that’s true) and a freestyled, jam session Part Three.

On Part One of the song, over a reverby-reversed synth melody and spacious drums, the Grammy award-winning rapper celebrates his massive recent success. “Shut your f—ing mouth and get some cash, you b—-, you // You be in your feelings, I be in my bag, you b—-, you,” he declares. And don’t forget to “levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate” as well.

The project finishes with “untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.” or originally thought of as “Blue Faces.” This was another song that originally premiered live, being performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The song features the narrative of a young woman who has a scholarship to college but rather decides to engage in a credit card scam to achieve “fast money.” He continues to explain the conflict between the vices of money and fame with getting an education (You feel like the universe owes you, woman // Oh the anticipation, of hoping you could make it // B—-es don’t prosper chasing education.)

“Demos from To Pimp a Butterfly. In Raw form. Unfinished. Untitled. Unmastered.” Lamar tweeted after the surprise “Beyonce-esque” release. The feeling of rawness and unfinishedness is definitely felt throughout but is still enjoyable. Kendrick Lamar’s winning streak continues as he can do no wrong at the moment. These were demos? Demos?? Wow.

Pimp-Pimp, Hooray.

Rating: 9/10

Favorite tracks: All

Least Favorite tracks: none email: nguyen.record@outlook.com

Twitter: @TheGawddd

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