NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh off his Grammy triumph, Kendrick Lamar has released a new batch of old music. The eight-song collection titled “untitled unmastered.” was made available Friday on iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify and GooglePlay. None of the songs has a title, just what seem to be dates, ranging from 2013 to 2016.
Top Dawg Entertainment, the independent hip-hop label Lamar is signed to, said the collection “features studio versions of the untitled songs” that Lamar performed on “The Colbert Report,” ”The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and last month’s Grammy Awards.
Many of the songs have a spacy, groovy feel and sound highly produced, including the standout funky “untitled 08 09.06.2014.” But “untitled 07 2014-2016” is a meandering, eight-minute song that ends with artists collaborating in a studio, complete with jokes and laughing.
The collection, which totals 34 minutes of music, was publicized around midnight from Lamar’s Twitter account.
Lamar won best rap album for “To Pimp a Butterfly” as well as rap performance, rap song, rap/sung performance and music video. Along with his wins, Lamar also had a show-stopping moment when he took the stage to perform “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright.”
Kendrick Lamar (photo: BENNETT RAGLIN/GETTY IMAGES FOR POWER 105.1’S POWERHOUSE 2015)
Kendrick Lamar never forgets where he came from and is always giving props to Compton, California. Whether it’s through his community-service endeavors or always recognizing Compton in his songs, Lamar will remind you he’s Compton-proud every chance he gets. And now the city is showing how proud it is of him.
Compton Mayor Aja Brown announced on Twitter that Lamar will be given the key to the city. Brown expressed how the rapper inspires everyone in Compton and shared positive sentiments about him:
A live band rendition of To Pimp A Butterfly is in high demand, and you’d have to look no further than Kendrick Lamar‘s performances on Stephen Colbert‘s shows to know why.
Lamar has been performing cuts live with a backing track, but that changes for one day later in October. The star will perform To Pimp A Butterfly songs with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center on October 20, according to the Washington Post. Nas performed with the orchestra last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Illmatic.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar’s words are reaching more than just the kids of his hometown of Compton, California.
Just a few months ago, High Tech High School, a North Bergen, New Jersey high school, lesson plan went viral when English teacher Brian Mooney decided to use Lamar’s recent studio album as curriculum and share it on his personal blog. Students used lyrics from Lamar’s sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly, to draw parallels between their assigned reading material of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.
That same school prompted Philadelphia-based organization Oogee Woogee to launch the “Be Alright” Scholarship, which will award one student at High Tech High with $1500 to go towards tuition and book fees. “We always wanted to create a hip-hop-inspired scholarship,” said Wilikine Brutus, content director of Oogee Woogee told Philly.com. “”Alright” came at the right time and the visit to the high school gave us a concrete idea of what we wanted.”
Students must create a 2-3 minute video using their talents to explain the positive aspects of hip-hop. Applicants submissions will then be posted on Oogee Woogee’s Facebook page, and the submission with the most “likes” or “shares” wins. The contest started Friday (Aug. 21) and ends on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 9 a.m.
Oogee Woogee plans to bring the scholarship to Philadelphia and nationwide. Watch the promo video for High Tech’s scholarship below:
The hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, at right in gray shirt, in a poetry slam Monday at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J. (Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times )
Mr. Mooney, who teaches freshman English at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., played Mr. Lamar’s album (edited, of course) “To Pimp a Butterfly” to draw correlations to Ms. Morrison’s novel.
Using a literary lens called “hip-hop ed” that he learned during his graduate courses at Teachers College at Columbia University, Mr. Mooney asked his students to reflect on the dichotomy of black culture in America — the celebration of itself and its struggle with historic oppression. His students’ sudden understanding shined through essays, colorful canvases and performance art.
Mr. Mooney, 29, blogged about his curriculum and shared his students’ work online. The blog racked up over 10,000 Facebook shares, and hardly a month passed before Mr. Lamar discovered it.
On Monday, Mr. Lamar not only became a guest lecturer in Mooney’s small classroom at High Tech, but he also became a pupil. Mr. Lamar’s manager sent a note to Mr. Mooney in April saying the performer was interested in visiting. He did not charge a fee, but the school and its foundation paid for the stage setup.
“I was feeling incredibly grateful and humbled that my work received that much exposure and reached that wide of an audience that Kendrick himself read it,” Mr. Mooney said.
Kendrick Lamar is working to purify hip-hop, a genre he hopes to ground in his true experiences growing up poor in Compton, Calif., the son of a former gangbanger. (Credit: John Francis Peters for The New York Times)
LOS ANGELES — Following the success of his major label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” in 2012, Kendrick Lamar did not indulge in earthly luxuries. Instead, he got baptized.
That album was the story of his redemption, not just from street gangs through rapping but from a life of sin by embracing Jesus Christ. His long-awaited follow-up, “To Pimp a Butterfly” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope), which was made available online Sunday night, ahead of a planned March 23 release, is about carrying the weight of that clarity: What happens when you speak out, spiritually and politically, and people actually start to listen? And what of the world you left behind?
Mr. Lamar, who grew up in Compton, Calif., had previously been saved as a teenager in the parking lot of a Food 4 Less, he said, when the grandmother of a friend approached him after a tragedy, asking if he had accepted God. “One of my homeboys got smoked,” Mr. Lamar recalled. “She had seen that we weren’t right in the head. That was her being an angel for us.”
Nearly a decade later, having found that fame and riches did not offer additional salvation, or happiness, he “wanted to take it to the next level — being underwater,” he said. “I felt like it was something I had to do.”
Whereas “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” zoomed in on a day in the old life of Mr. Lamar, a gifted but wayward high schooler in a neighborhood filled with death and temptation, “To Pimp a Butterfly” brings listeners up to his present day, from world tours to the B.E.T. Awards, and the separation he feels from his past. Rather than relief, his escape from Compton has brought only more opportunities for sin and self-doubt, an internal chaos reflected not only in Mr. Lamar’s intricate stories but also in vigorous jazz- and funk-inflected production that builds on the smoother West Coast sounds of his debut.