untitled unmastered. - Kendrick Lamar
Mar 08 2016

untitled unmastered. - Kendrick Lamar

By: Asdrubal Quintero

untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar

It's almost incredulous for Lamar to assert that untitled unmastered. is indeed unmastered. There is nothing but mastery coursing through this record. Composed of eight outtakes from last year's equally spectacular To Pimp a Butterfly, untitled unmastered. finds the rapper coming back to deliver a pseudo-epilogue to Butterfly.

The politically-charged and introspective lyrics return tenfold on untitled along with the borderline avant-garde vibes. On "untitled 02 (06.23.2014)," Lamar sweeps through no less than three timbres to paint a world-weary Lamar whose attempting to reconcile the continuing destruction of black communities with his escalating success. "Untitled 03 (05.28.2013)" introduces recurring Afrofuturist themes, replicated in "Untitled 04 (08.14.2014)" and "Untitled 07 (2014 - 2016)," in which sex, social consciousness and political awareness are almagamated through jazz, funk and ambient melodies. And being a rapper that still enjoys good vibes, "Untitled 08 (09.06.2014)," takes advantage of Thundercat's funk-disco sound to lend some much needed lightness to the weighty topic of economic disparity within the Black community. 

Evoking the political unrest that spur rap's development while continuing to unfurl increasingly sophisticated musical styles, Lamar reasserts that he is the zenith of rap music. Unlike Kanye West's The Life of Pablo (another rap album that approaches similar themes and presents itself as unfinished), Lamar's perfection still pervades the record, embuing it with a hypnotizing balance of complexity and ephemerality. 

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