The tracks range from clearly unfinished to profoundly polished.
It’s been a long while since we’ve heard anything in the way of new music from Kendrick Lamar. But the Compton rap star’s hiatus may be coming to a close.
On Wednesday, the rapper was reportedly seen filming a music video in Los Angeles. Spotted by People Magazine, the still of Lamar clutching a payphone in his hometown commenced a storm of rumor mill fodder and speculation over a follow-up to DAMN.. But the real sign of movement came earlier in the week with the leak of three unreleased songs, ranging from clearly unfinished to profoundly polished, which surfaced on Youtube and Reddit under the tentative titles, “Guilty Conscience,” (a fairly obvious hat-tip to Eminem,) “Somebody,” and “Prayer.” The latter features one of the rapper’s best performances to date, seemingly writing from the perspective of art itself over a sedated and psychedelic yacht rock production,) and is clearly closer to completion than the others. But with the leak, it’s unclear whether it will actually make way from the cutting room floor.
Though he curated and executive produced the soundtrack to 2018’s Black Panther (which took home two Grammys and an Oscar,) we haven’t heard a studio album from the rapper since his Pullitzer-winning outing, DAMN. The 2017 album was certified platinum three times over, featuring appearances from Rihanna and Zacari, as well as production from 9th Wonder, The Alchemist, Sounwave, DJ Dahi, and Mike Will Made It.
Of course, time will tell whether we ever get the opportunity to hear the finished versions of any of these songs. But the wait could be shorter than any of us originally thought. Until then, you can stream Kendrick Lamar’s catalog on all major DSPs. Stay tuned for his next transmission in the months ahead.