By Hanif Freeman
On March 4, Kendrick Lamar released his most recent project, “Untitled Unmastered.” Unlike Lamar’s previous album, this was not as anticipated due its sudden release. As confirmed, “Untitled Unmastered” is a compilation of demo tracks that weren’t fit for Kendrick’s previous album. With this being said, listeners can expect a rather raw and personal project as opposed to the high quality of Kendrick’s other releases. Though this is not considerably professional in the eyes of many critics, the theme corresponds with many of the ideas and subjects that Kendrick has rapped about on his previous projects.
The album kicks off with a short monologue from independent artist Bilal and transcends to Kendrick painting a picture of Judgment Day. The depth and interpretation included in the track exceeds the expectations of such a sudden album. The track then ends and proceeds to a jazzy bridge featuring both Anna Wise and Bilal. As the album proceeds, Kendrick introduces a variety of different styles. The listener can expect to hear similar jazz themes found on “To Pimp a Butterfly.” However, Kendrick also tackles a trap-styled approach that many listeners have been anticipating (Heard on Untitled 2 and Untitled 7). The different varieties mix well and give this project a fulfilling purpose. Many of the tracks on this project were actually revealed to the public in various live performances. A majority of the live singers and instruments are consistent with the production on this project. However, Kendrick doesn’t incorporate as much of the “raw” emotion he delivered in his live performances. While this may not be necessarily negative, it does create a different atmosphere and vibe on some of the tracks.
All in all, this project is a solid piece to Kendrick’s legacy. Fans are delivered a satisfying project to occupy the gap between his next major releases. “Untitled Unmastered” is definitely worth a listen!