Is Kendrick season finally approaching?
It’s been a little over three years since Kendrick Lamar dropped one of the most impressive conceptual rap albums to date. DAMN., besides being stacked with verses, guests, and K. Dot’s wide-ranging rap impressionism, also garnered a Pulitzer Prize—an award that had never been granted to a rapper. In short, the last time Kendrick season was upon us, the music, accolades, and consequent world tour the artist embarked on has left us desperate for more.
He is, after all, one of the best rappers of his lifetime. A generational artist, capable of producing one “virtuosic song collection” after the other. From Section.80 to good kid, m.A.A.d city, to TPAB, to DAMN, Kendrick Lamar, somehow, just keeps getting better.
Last week, Kendrick Lamar was spotted in L.A shooting a music video. According to NME, the rapper was seen across land, air, and sea. You can check out the footage, of Kendrick performing his own oceanfront stunts and sitting costumed in a photo booth, below.
Though there has yet to be an official word as to what this footage is for, we think the tide is right for new Kendrick Lamar music. Not to mention, those who may have worked on the DAMN. follow-up are finally opening up about their experiences.
“When I was working with Kendrick, I was excited. Some of my favorite moments recording were spent with Kendrick… I think I worked on the new [album] a little bit too,” jazz and hip-hop musician Thundercat told Neet Tokyo. As the interview continued, Thundercat explained how he wishes he could work with Kendrick more often. “I say it every now and again, but I wish I could spend more time around him creating just because he gives off such energy and he knows what he wants a lot of time.”
One of the more reassuring updates arrived in May, when the CEO of TDE—Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith—confirmed Kendrick’s imminent return in a social media post. “Stay patient king Kendrick will return soon,” the label’s head honcho wrote in an Instagram Live comment.
And let’s not forget the first round of curiosity, which arrived in March after the launch of pgLang. Though no further media has been added since the initial launch, social media posts, and “visual mission statement,” we have to believe that pgLang will integrate with Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming album.
We may see a similar distribution of new music and material that we saw with Solange’s release of When I Get Home, when she utilized the social network Black Planet to announce the LP. Especially in pandemic times, artists are having to get creative when it comes to album rollouts. Currently, we have no idea how pgLang, Dave Free’s “new multi-lingual, at service company,” will be involved when Kendrick finally decides to release new music. But we’re hoping for interactive media, an enticing portal to experience what Kung-Fu Kenny has been cooking up over the past three years.
Now, about the Kendrick Lamar music leaked these past few weeks. On September 5th, “Guilty Conscience,” a flip of Em and Dr. Dre’s famed track, was leaked onto the internet. It was preceded by “Gotta Love Me,” featuring Kendrick’s cousin and 2020 XXL Freshman Class member Baby Keem, and “Prayer,” which has lived on YouTube since August. Were these leaked tracks DAMN. discards, or are they meant to appear on Kendrick Lamar’s forthcoming album? We think the former is much more likely, as Kendrick is pretty sealed when it comes to his unreleased music.
But, all of these are signs of what’s to come. It’s rare that a rapper follows his leaked music with silence. And it’s even more rare to spot Kendrick in the wild, recording visuals, without any signs of new music on the horizon. Will Kendrick Lamar Drop New Music in 2020? Though it may take a month or two—Kendrick is, to our benefit, a perfectionist—we think the famed rapper will definitely provide an answer to our prayers this year.