Review: Kendrick Lamar – ‘untitled 03 05.28.2013’


Overall, a very good track. But that's what we expect from Kendrick every time now, isn't it?

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The reigning king of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar, surprised everyone this week by dropping untitled unmastered, featuring outtakes from last year’s highly successful To Pimp A Butterfly.

The tracks on the record don’t have titles, instead being named after the date they were recorded. The oldest of the eight tracks is track three, ‘untitled 03 05.28.2013’.  Lamar first performed the track on The Colbert Report back in 2014, before the release of …Butterfly as he didn’t want to reveal any tracks from that album at that point.

‘untitled 03…’ is a stop-stutter, highly political song that addresses Lamar’s perceived strengths and weaknesses of different races in America. Anna Wise, a frequent collaborator, puts forward a race (“What did the Asian say?”, for example) and Lamar offers a verse based on that race in response.

Despite the political, serious lyrics, the track has an upbeat sound. The backing track seems to act as a contrast to the negative lyrics, providing a positive alternative. The track is rather short at  just over two and a half minutes, which is a shame as it feels like it finishes quite abruptly. Plus, I’m slightly disappointed Lamar opted to cut the last, powerful lines from the Colbert performance: “What the black man say? Tell ’em we don’t die, we multiply”. Overall though, a very good track. But that’s what we expect from Kendrick every time now, isn’t it?

‘untitled 03 05.28.2013.’ is out now via Interscope.


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