Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The ShortListen: Kendrick Lamar (no. 266)

kendricklamar1.jpg

Who? Kendrick Lamar

What’s the story? A welcome surprise for Kendrick Lamar fans this morning as, without warning, a 'brand new album' appeared on iTunes, Spotify and the rest. Upon closer inspection, it's not, strictly-speaking, a Beyonce-style drop; rather, these are eight tracks that, for whatever reason, didn't quite make it onto his critically-acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly album last year (reasons seemingly range from getting samples cleared to simple 'deadlines'). They're all untitled (and we presume unmastered, although they sound good) with each given a date between 2013 and 2016.

The whole thing is a nice reminder of just what an incredible job Lamar has done in getting this music - TMAB is, effectively, a jazz record with politically-charged and uncompromising lyrical material - to such a wide audience. There's a whole range of styles and eclectic sounds, nothing much in the way of choruses or hooks (although the Cee-Lo Green-featuring untitled 06 comes close), yet it's so distinctive and refreshing with proper jazz musicians doing their thing and Kendrick doing his over the top. For our money, you can't really beat his live performances - be they concerts or TV shows, but this is more material to get your teeth into over multiple listens.

For fans of: George Clinton, A$AP Rocky, Outkast

In three words: Companion album set

Click here for more ShortListens

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist

Related

frightenedrabbit1.jpg

The ShortListen: Frightened Rabbit (no. 265)

m83dog.jpg

The ShortListen: M83 (no. 264)

jakebugg1.png

The ShortListen: Jake Bugg (no. 263)

kyko1.jpg

The ShortListen: Kyko (no. 262)

EKKOES-Press-Pic-FINAL.jpg

The ShortListen: EKKOES (no. 261)

chaseandstatus.jpg

The ShortListen: Chase & Status feat. Slaves (no. 260)

muna1.jpg

The ShortListen: MUNA (no. 259)

richardashcroft1.jpg

The ShortListen: Richard Ashcroft (no. 258)

unitedsoundsofjoy.jpg

The ShortListen: United Sounds of Joy (no. 257)

Comments

More

The Smiths to release first 'new' single in 21 years

Indie fans rejoice

by Dave Fawbert
01 Dec 2016

JME on Drake, dealing with fans and Donald Trump

"Drake, Skepta and JME might have a hit out, with no beat, that’s just a capella"

by Louise Donovan
01 Dec 2016

How to get noticed according to Kaiser Chiefs

A lesson in defying expectations & keeping things fresh by the Leeds indie rockers

28 Nov 2016

An ode to Popworld: the show which delighted in being badly behaved

Remembering Amstell and Oliver's era of genius

by Dave Fawbert
28 Nov 2016

In defence of Joe Corré's £5m punk burning

Why the great bonfire was actually a great thing to do

by Dave Fawbert
28 Nov 2016

Liam Gallagher has announced the date for his first solo show

Find out when he'll be 'avin it large

by Jamie Carson
28 Nov 2016

How I was finally forced to admit that Bruno Mars is a pop genius

I hated him, now I love him

by Dave Fawbert
24 Nov 2016

Sigma on how to achieve happiness

The drum'n'bass duo share their thoughts on nailing the feel-good formula

by Alex Christian
16 Nov 2016

12 lessons from Leonard Cohen lyrics on the joy and unbearable pain of

To celebrate the great musician's life and career, we take a look back at some of his wisest words

by Tom Fordy
11 Nov 2016

Can you name the band from their member timeline?

Not as easy as it sounds

by Dave Fawbert
10 Nov 2016