Free of anticipation or warning Kendrick released his latest creative hip-hop prophecy on Friday titled, ‘Untitled Unmastered’; the unpredicted debut is composed of eight songs all of which are titled with specific dates. Blended with jazz, funk and fresh instrumentals Kendrick once again incorporates his soulful depth into every bar and verse.
What I love about Kendrick is his ability in creating but also delivering depth, intensity, and wisdom through his music. ‘Untitled Unmastered’ uses a variety of ingenious metaphors to describe Kendrick’s views on systematic oppression, racism, and Biblical passages. Furthermore, all the songs composed on this album were initially unused demos from his previous Grammy winning album, ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’; three of which were previously performed on live television.
Kendrick leads his listeners into his album with somewhat of a forewarning in regards to Judgement Day, which is consistently referenced in the book of Revelations in the Holy Bible. He wrapped the opening of this album with his modern outlook on what humanity’s final days will succumb to; countless wars, cases of racism, and hatred will become the core of our destruction, somewhat reflecting the generation we are living through today. Every song on this album offers its listeners more than just your regular beat, flow or word play; it takes you on a form of elevated thinking- it is for the conscious thinker. Contributing to this lyrical prophecy are Kendrick’s bars and punch lines, which are consistently delivered throughout the album on songs like, ’01| 08.19.2014’, ’ 02| 06.23.2014’, and ‘ 07| 2014-2016’ – just to name a few.
My favourite track off this album has to be ‘7| 2014-2016’ the beat, flow, and lyricism are poetic, soulful, and intense. Kendrick presents three parts to this song, each practicing a different deliverance, flow, beat and word play making it fresh and unique. What sold me on this song was the following line, ‘You niggas fear me like y’all fear God, You sound frantic, I hear panic in your voice; Just know the mechanics of making your choice and writin’ your bars Before you poke out your chest, loosen your bra, Before you step out of line and dance with the star, I could never end a career if it never start.’
I personally took this line as a direct message to the industry fearing Kendrick’s influence being used to propose a new agenda in hip-hop music, and to artists that claim themselves as emcee’s not rightfully earning or proving to define the profound depth of that term in the hip-hop game. Second to this, it is his forewarning to other artist to think twice before stepping up to him lyrically because he may just murder their opportunity to rock any mic’.
To be honest, in regards to VYB3’s top picks- listen to the entire album, it will not leave you dissatisfied! I am never disappointed with Kendrick’s work, I believe he is one of the greatest to be rocking the mic right now not only because he believes in empowering youth and minority groups through his music but also through his personal lifestyle. There is not much I can say that I haven’t already expressed regarding his incredible talent; however, I will add what’s refreshing about Kendrick is the use of his platform and influence to prophesize to his listeners about his beliefs, which offers a little more depth and versatility other than money, sex, violence, and/or drugs.
VYB3 Rating: 8.5/10