This is probably not what you were expecting out of the first week of March 2016: A new Kendrick Lamar project. But here we are, with his new untitled unmastered
. available for your ears.K. Dot dropped the eight-track collection late Thursday night, with very little warning ahead of time. While it’s brand new to us, it isn’t music that he’s just recorded; it’s a set of jams from sessions for his 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly
. Each track (as the album title suggests) is untitled, employing a date (likely of when it was recorded) as a name, instead.
A few of these tracks may be somewhat familiar, though not in this form or quality: “untitled 03 l 05.28.2013.” and “untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.” had each been premiered during late night show performances — on The Colbert Report in late 2014 and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in early 2016. In fact, it’s apparently because of NBA star LeBron James’ fandom of those performances that this project was even released.“Yea KIng Kendrick returns 2nite…. Make site y’all thank @kingjames … #TDE,” Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith wrote on Instagram Thursday night, referencing a plea James made on Twitter last week.
Top immediately responded, but their release seemed unlikely.
Speculation of a possible project heightened earlier this week, though, when Top posted the TDE release schedule on Instagram, and then followed up a day later: “Just 2 show n—as I’m not playing. Ive decided 2 drop a project 1 day this week. I won’t say wut day or who. It cud be 2nite So don’t ask me jus stay close to the net. Is this Kool with y’all? #TDE”
Kendrick had hinted at the existence of a treasure chest of unreleased tracks in an interview with 2Dopeboyz earlier this month — though not that they’d ever see the light of day in a packaged, recorded form like this.“You see all these performances on these late night shows, I got a chamber of material from the album that I was in love where sample clearances or something as simple as a deadline kept it off the album,” he said. “But I think probably close to 10 songs that I’m in love with that I’ll still play and still perform that didn’t make the cut.”If it’s really 10, that means you’re still holding out two on us, Dot. Just saying.