Music Review: Kendrick Lamar’s “untitled unmastered.”


Lamar’s autological album “untitled unmastered.” came as a surprise to everyone.

Consisting of leftovers from his other award winning records, this seemingly random project is a scrapbook of unfinished songs and unmastered demos. To everyone’s surprise, this compilation first appeared on Spotify after a public announcement from beloved basketball star LeBron James for Kendrick to release a set of unfinished songs rumored to be in existence.

Kendrick Lamar’s quick response goes to show the intense dedication he has for not only his reputation and public image, but his fans that support him. The actual composition of this record is abstract and foreign to the established Kendrick Lamar sound, but somehow they still blend together to give us a thirty four minute album that feels just as good as “To Pimp a Butterfly”, or “good kid, m.A.A.d city.”

The actual tracks are, themselves, untitled. In my opinion, this is a genius move by Kendrick Lamar as it allows the listener to focus more on the music itself. “Untitled 01” through “Untitled 04” feature the seemingly psychedelic hallucinations of a lost, confused man. Reminiscing on the drying oceans and crumbling buildings, the first four tracks feature a world with both terror and justice.

Kendrick Lamar mixes deep bass with dark lyrics, talks about a utopian foresight with dystopian surroundings, mixes old songs into new masterpieces, all through an “unmastered” album that somehow finishes itself through its own state of perpetual incompleteness.

The second half of this album calms down, with “Untitled 05” through “Untitled 08” setting the mood with smoother instruments and more down-to-earth lyrics. These latter songs feature an open discussion of “touchy” issues, including race, identity, purpose, and meaning.

Although the runtime of this album is short, Kendrick Lamar manages to cram in more purpose and meaning into a simple thirty four minute compilation than any artist ever could, once again proving his pure devotion and raw talent.


Andrew Johnson is a senior at St. Thomas High School. He is a writer for the entertainment section of the paper. Drew enjoys winning in UCAL basketball, sleeping, and watching sports. His dislikes include Stephen Curry and anything in Dallas.