Review #173: Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered

Artist – Kendrick Lamar
Album – Untitled Unmastered (2016)

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Kendrick Lamar is a Hip-Hop artist from Compton, USA. Kendrick follows in the footsteps of many other prolific Californian Hip-Hop/Rap artists, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and N.W.A, writing about growing up in his neighbourhood and how he got to the position he’s at today. Lamar gained major success off his major label debut album ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’, but in fact had already grown a strong following by working with such artists as Lil Wayne, Dr Dre and Busta Rhymes. Kendrick gained even more praise with his sophomore album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, of which won Lamar numerous Grammy awards. Here are a collection of tracks left on the cutting room floor after Kendrick’s last release.

‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ was such an incredible album it left us all craving more, but that felt way off, and then out of the blue comes ‘Untitled Unmastered’. This new release isn’t a new album as such, it’s a collection of untitled and unmastered tracks which were left out of Lamar’s sophomore album. By no means are these songs the crumby leftovers, the songs not good enough to make it on TPAB, as most are fantastic, they are obviously just the ones that Kendrick felt didn’t fit within the songs already allocated a slot. These songs feature all the experimentation, old school hip-hop, jazz and funk that was so refreshing and prevalent in TPAB, along with the usual fantastic wordplay and political, social and economical topics coming from Kendrick himself. To the untrained ear the production sounds on par with TPAB for the most part, really it is just that little extra polish and evening out of levels that comes with mastering that is noticeable to production freaks. The flow and feeling of one complete piece is missing from this release … but that shouldn’t be a negative point anyway, as it shouldn’t have that feeling, it isn’t one complete piece, but a little extra treat for all us Kendrick fans.

‘Untitled Unmastered’ is a great little something to tie over the wait between Kendricks next undoubtedly brilliant album.


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