With the release of Kendrick Lamar’s new single 'i' less than a week away, it would suggest that we can be expecting Kendrick’s sophomore album sometime soon as well. Labelled “the best rapper in the world” by many after the immaculate 'good kid, m.A.A.d city'. A lot is expected of Kendrick on his sophomore album, yet we don't really know that much about it. So we at Shuf have compiled a list of ten things we know about the LP, which could form a picture of what to expect.
1. The Hoax.
First off earlier in the year it seemed that the new album was all but done. Many sites began to report on a a new record named United States of A.L.A.R.M. This was followed by what seemed to be an official announcement poster and release date. Down to the Kendrick esque title, the consistent title style which had previously used on his debut album, and even the september release date which had previously mentioned as a possibility. It all seemed a bit too ‘quintessential Kendrick’. So as soon as it began the dreamed was crushed as it was all revealed to be a hoax, so don't expect this to be the title.
2. The Leak.
Even our first official glimpse of the new album was forced out due to a leak. Interscope Records website PlayIGA have accidentally leaked details on his upcoming single which lead to the official release of the single artwork, which looks like it simply titled “i”. Though we only have the artwork, we should not forget we are dealing with Kendrick who's every word can be examined by rap nerds for hours. We are shown two men, one dressed in blue representing the Crips and the other in red representing the Bloods, two of the most infamous L.A gangs. In the middle of the two is the title 'i'. This would suggest that Kendrick is not taking a side but is rather stuck in the middle. As he says ““If Pirus and Crips all got along, they’d probably gun me down by the end of this song.” This would lead us to believe he will take a outsider prospective into the narrative of this lifestyle rather than playing an active role.
3. The sheer amount of music.
We know nothing really of the content that will fill the album other than that he has heaps to choose from. In an interview earlier this year he revealed that he has an impressive 30-40 songs to choose from for the new LP. This does suggest we could be looking at an expansive LP from the Compton native, but this is Kendrick we are talking about. Ever the perfectionist so expect this number to be trimmed back majorly, into a much smaller number which will make for a more compact narrative.
4. The inside opinion.
Kendrick himself has been very tight lipped on the new record, but a fellow TDE member did express her view on the album. SZA, who looks like she has heard some if not all of the new record had some very promising words to say. In an interview she stated “It really is amazing. It’s incredible. It’s next level. It’s next level for sure. He was storytelling before, but now it’s like on a grander scale. It’s vivid as fuck. It’s beautiful. It’s so dope.” Although its coming from an in house member, words like these certainly aren’t discouraging.
5. The 'Control' verse.
Since the release of good kid, m.A.A.d city Kendrick certainly hasn't stayed quite, he delivered another infamous moment in Hip Hop history. His verse on 'Control' pretty much put a bounty out on every other rapper and stated his mission to excel to the best rapper alive. They were certainly some fierce words of intent, and ones he can’t back away from. So expect many more bold moves on the album, and for this anger and aggression to continue onto the new record. He expressed the new album would will be filled with a lot of “anger and emotion.” Could we expect a retaliation to Macklemore on his Grammy win?
6. The "no features" claim.
Early signs would show he is sticking to his guns on his mission statement on 'Control'. Recently it has emerged that he has no plans to have any features on the new LP. A very bold move but one that makes perfect sense. To prove his worth as the best raper alive he must do it all on his own. This news my concern some if it were talking about another rapper, but with Kendrick we just want him to one up himself every time.
7. The production.
With no features announced, we are almost as clueless when it comes to production side of things. While not much has been announced, what has been is encouraging. Kendrick himself has confirmed that Dr. Dre has been working with him for the new album. Also confirmed is TDE’s in house producer Digi + Phonics. Often one to work with a number of producers, expect some more big names to lend there production expertise.
8. The release date
Although a rumoured release date was set for September, we could expect a much late release date if TDE’s president Punch words are anything to go by. Only a month ago when talking on the new album he said “I don’t want to give too much away but there’s certain steps that we take. I don’t think it’s to the point yet where we have the actual sound of what it’s going to be but the idea is there for sure, the whole concept and the different songs that he wants to make.” Whether this is still the case, only time will tell.
9. The Beats by Dre commercial.
Although he has been very busy with his features this year, we have had no solo material from himself. But we shouldn't forget that Beats by Dre commercial. Only showing off about 30 seconds of music, we found kendrick furiously spitting over an almost alien beat, that we will assume was produced by Dre himself. This clip would appear to show Kendrick heading in a very different course to his previous solo material.
10. The usual.
Finally looking back on this list what stands out is that Kendrick is still going to be K.dot. He has no plans to re invent himself or slip into any popular trends. We can still expect what we have come to love, a man who wants to tell a story in the most beautifully crafted manner possibly.
Words : Jacob Roy