IT'S BEEN ALMOST A YEAR since Kendrick Lamar’s ground-breaking To Pimp A Butterfly wrestled with success, corruption and race in America, and these “raw [and] unfinished” demos prove the man still has plenty more to say on all the above. The rapper’s prolific talent and his illustrious gallery of jazz and funk musicians make Untitled Unmastered feel anything but incomplete. The standout, Untitled 03, is as affecting as any cut from the ‘finished’ album, its lurching groove transfigured by Lamar’s coolly deadpan flow and piercing observations on unflattering stereotypes.
New ground is explored on the unsettlingly cynical Untitled 02, where Lamar tries on singing for size. Something that cannot be said of every high-profile rapper-turned-crooner, it suits him.
The short length and minimal production means Untitled Unmastered occasionally lacks the dynamics of Lamar’s previous work, but it remains an enthralling postscript to his masterpiece.
Listen to Untitled Unmastered now via Apple Music.