Matt’s Music Review: untitled unmastered.

After the success of his album drop “To Pimp a Butterfly,” born-and-raised-Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped what seemed like leftovers into his easily underrated album “untitled unmastered.” on March 4, 2016. So to commemorate the six-year anniversary of this darker, more undone side of one of his most popular albums of all time, let’s take a look back and see if this project still holds its own today.

“Untitled 01 | 08.19.2014.,” the first track of the album is very ominous which does fit Kendrick’s music, but it caught me off guard initially due to the severity of the darkness in every way from the lyrics to the beat. Halfway through the song we get a switch in tone which redeems the song with more bars from Kendrick that pair perfectly with the old school drums that slowly transfer into a slow beat with vocals that reminded me of the chorus on “Sing about me, I’m Dying of thirst” on the album good kid, m.A.A.d city.

The project starts to pick up more speed and momentum going into the middle of the album. With “Untitled 03 | 05.28.2013.” being one of the songs that with a little more work could’ve been on good kid, m.A.A.d city. With a somewhat uplifting beat that still does a great job of matching the dark vibe of the album with the lyrics from Kendrick talking about how the corporate side of music has put a price on his talent and potential.

Even later in the project the music still stays fresh and keeps the listeners attention by the interesting vocal filters and features CeeLo Green used in “Untitled 06 | 06.30.2014.”
This collaboration in addition with Kendrick’s lyrics makes this song one of my favorites through the whole project. After this morale-boosting track we take a trip back to the dark side of the beginning of the album. Despite Kendrick using the same voice filters as the previous track, the sound of this one changes in mood giving off an unsteady vibe. Then around halfway through the 8-minute song it transfers to an old audio of Kendrick playing guitar and singing with his friends. The listener should recognize that this audio is not out of the blue, but is the initial motivation behind many of the lyrics and hooks throughout this entire album.

Overall this project defied my expectations in the best way possible. This album did not have to be as good as it was. Many of these songs I could see on a full length album like good kid, m.A.A.d city or even To Pimp a Butterfly. All things considered, I rate this album an 8.5/10 and it’s something that everyone should listen to on this anniversary.