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The Dose: Pimp, pimp, hooray! New Kendrick Lamar project rocks

The Dose: Pimp, pimp, hooray! New Kendrick Lamar project rocks

March 09
21:57 2016

Preston Mitchell | Staff Writer


If last year in music belonged to anyone, it was Kendrick Lamar. His masterful album, “To Pimp A Butterfly,” summated his sociopolitical views into a single, relatable narrative. Thanks to positive reception, the Grammy winner is now a modern rap legend.

Kendrick is back with a compilation of “Butterfly” demo tracks titled “Untitled Unmastered.” Fortunately for junkies that can’t get enough Kendrick, this mixtape delivers the goods.

The beginning, “Untitled 01,” is Lamar tying societal issues into what the book of Revelation prophesizes. Next is “Untitled 02,” a jazzy track that opens with “Pimp, pimp, hooray!” and details Lamar’s anxieties about fame as the people he grew up with suffer in Compton. The way Lamar goes from rapping and singing (simultaneously) to reciting a perfectly synced jazz verse is pretty brilliant.

While the live version was stronger, “Untitled 03” is still powerful. Here, he divides his journey into four different cultures: the meditative Asian, the Native American representing his land, the African-American procreation and the white man’s entrepreneurship. It’s an introspective highlight of Lamar’s daily struggles between peace and the materialism.

Subsequently, “Untitled 04” is an interlude where Lamar sings the refrain: “Head is the answer.” This, along with “Untitled 05,” advises that knowledge is the key to avoiding a minimum wage lifestyle.

A pleasant breath of fresh air is “Untitled 06.” The track sees Kendrick and CeeLo Green encouraging a beautiful woman to embrace her insecurities, and doing so with the swagger that only a rapper has.

Nonetheless, the standout is “Untitled 07,” which flawlessly merges three musical styles. Once again commencing with a “pimp, pimp, hooray,” Lamar brags about being the best rapper over trap instrumentation. After a choral breakdown, the composition goes full West Coast, where Kendrick cheekily raps: “I could never end a career if it never start.”

Oddly enough, the song concludes with an “Untitled 04” outtake, where “head is the answer” again. Contextually, it works because Lamar has gone from arrogant to reaffirming his morals all at once.

The mixtape’s only flaw is that it could’ve ended altogether here. Instead, “Untitled 08,” while good, pales in comparison.

All in all, “Untitled Unmastered” is a nice array of B-sides for those of us that continue to jam “To Pimp A Butterfly.” If you’re a fan of Lamar or simply everything held sacrosanct in the rap pantheon, give it a listen.

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