Kendrick Lamar’s latest album exposes social ills


Special To / The Advocate

“Untitled Unmastered” consists of previously unreleased demos that originated during the recording of Lamar’s previous album.

By Jason Sykes, Staff Writer

Over the past few years we have been introduced to new ways of listening to music. It has become extremely easy for listeners to grab their favorite artist’s music without having to take a step into a local store.

With the new streaming services, many artists have taken advantage of being able to release music without having traditional release dates or corporate backing.

On March 4 Kendrick Lamar surprised his fans by releasing an album that no one saw coming.

Lamar is just one of the latest artists to drop a surprise album on his fans and the eight-track album titled “Untitled Unmastered” is exactly what the title says it is.

Every song on this album is released as a rough edit with minimum to zero mixing and mastering on any of the songs. The release of the album happens less than a year after his award winning “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

He once again goes against the grain for this album giving his fans a more jazz and funk album. “Untitled Unmastered” is full of great songs that differ from what many of the other MCs are doing.

His use of live instruments is noticeable throughout the entire album as it was on his previous album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

Many people may not even notice what the difference would have been if the album had its proper mixing and mastering.

The songs on Lamar’s surprise album vary from being lengthy to short. Every song has a date next to its track number, hinting when the song was recorded, varying from 2013 to 2014.

Most of the songs on this album are leftovers that were not able to make the final cut of the album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” so he decided to release those songs.

Lamar speaks on various topics throughout this album, including race, religion and music industry politics.

In his song “Untitled 03 | 05.28.2013” he said the “white man” is selling him for $10.99 and that if he goes platinum as an artist that’s just helping the company out. Lamar raps about the gray areas many artists are reluctant to speak about.

Fans of all genres of music gravitate toward him as an artist because he is not afraid to exist outside of the box.

Lamar is still in his prime and judging by recent success, that is probably going to carry on for a long time.

On the heels of a Grammy award winning album he decided to give his fans something else, not because he had to, because he wants to.

Kendrick has support from people all over world, athletes and entertainers included, like NBA basketball player LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers. James posted a video of himself playing one of Lamar’s songs in his car when the album was first released and it is believed that James helped convince Lamar to release the project.