Album Review: untitled unmastered. - Kendrick Lamar
By Benjamin Irons
Publicised on Twitter as "Demo's from To Pimp A Butterfly", Kendrick's surprise release untitled unmastered. is completely conflicting to the album title's vague impression as a wanting 8-track, 34 minute demo-tape. Taken from the same laboratory that his 2015 release To Pimp A Butterfly was conjured in, UU. associates the same mixture of modern funk, old-school jazz and provocative parol that gave the 2015 masterpiece its rightful acclaim.
The conservative low-fi of "untitled 01" breaks the opening dialogue and is surprisingly hard-hitting. Similarly, in "untitled 02", all you need is a good quality sub-woofer to truly appreciate the vigorous bass-line in the foundation alongside a sequence of Kendrick's hypnotic, lyrical avant-garde.
"untitled 03" distances itself from the previous two tracks, promoting a funkier, more upbeat style that still remains conventionally Lamar. Contrastingly, "untitled 05", a standout track on the album, serves up a composition of beautifully discordant piano and saxophone, challenged by a lyrical protest from Anna Wise on the hook which is reinforced by Punch and Lamar in the second verse.
R&B genius CeeLo Green cameos on "untitled 6", featuring a jazzy baseline and a sweeping drum-beat, which is fittingly buoyant. "untitled 8" is also resilient in nature, coupling Lamar's lyrical flow with a gospel-like choir.
Every element of UU. paints a jarring picture of the struggle of race and racism that African-American's face daily; entwined with lyrical dexterity and musical tact, Kendrick Lamar is once again able to exhibit his genius in songwriting and shows why he's worthy of his ovation in hip/hop artistry.