A week ahead of its scheduled release date, Kendrick Lamar’s third full-length album has been made available to purchase. The clean version of To Pimp a Butterfly was first unveiled on iTunes just before midnight on 16 March, while the uncensored tracks followed soon after.
Its sudden appearance online may come as a surprise to many fans (including the notably excitable Taylor Swift). His third album was scheduled to be released on 23 March. While Lamar has not yet spoken about its early release – aside from a tweet instructing “Keep calm. All is well” – Anthony Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, which represents Lamar, not so subtly implied that this sudden ambush may have been out of the rapper’s hands:
Kicking off with Wesley’s Theory, featuring George Clinton and Thundercat, the tracklist should alone stoke anticipation: Snoop Dogg appears on Institutionalized and These Walls and Ronald Isley is credited on How Much a Dollar Cost. Elsewhere, Bilal, Anna Wise, James Fauntleroy and Rapsody comprise what sounds like the rapper’s most melodic and jazz and soul inspired yet.
Anticipation for the Compton artist’s followup to 2012 album Good Kid, M.A.A.D. city began at the end of 2014, with the Isley Brothers’ sampling track i, before The Blacker the Berry and King Kunta were unveiled – all of which appear on the album.
The sleeve of the rapper’s forthcoming album, which shows what appears to be the aftermath of a black revolution on the White House lawn, was revealed last week.
- Wesley’s Theory (ft. George Clinton and Thundercat)
- For Free? (Interlude)
- King Kunta
- Institutionalized (ft. Bilal, Anna Wise and Snoop Dogg)
- These Walls (ft. Bilal, Anna Wise and Snoop Dogg)
- For Sale? (Interlude)
- Hood Politics
- How Much a Dollar Cost (ft. James Fauntleroy and Ronald Isley)
- Complexion (A Zulu Love) (ft. Rapsody)
- The Blacker the Berry
- You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
- Mortal Man