Kendrick Lamar’s new album coming this month

The wait is almost over, hip-hop fans.Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited new album is out March 23, the rapper revealed on Twitter Friday.The 16-track album is called Untitled (possibly just a placeholder) and is now available to pre-order on iTunes. It features his racially charged The Blacker the Berry, released last month, but no other songs are named. Noticeably, his Grammy-winning anthem I is not shown on the tracklist.Lamar debuted a new song on The Colbert Report in December. The new album is a follow-up to his 2012 major-label debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar’s new album arrives early

Everyone, stop what you're doing and plug in your headphones. Kendrick Lamar's new album is here a week ahead of schedule.Originally slated for release March 23, To Pimp a Butterfly was made available on iTunes and Spotify early Monday morning.The rapper teased his sophomore effort with a series of cryptic tweets late Sunday night, before sharing a link to download it:The early release appears to have been a mishap by Interscope Records, at least according to Top Dawg Entertainment label head Anthony Tiffith, who reps Lamar.In a series of expletive-laden tweets, Tiffith wrote, "I would like 2 personally thank @Interscope for (expletive) up our release ... Somebody gots 2 pay 4 this mistake !!! This is the kraziest (expletive) ever. I will deal with BS later ... let's focus on the album."Last week, Lamar revealed the album's cover art on Instagram. On Saturday, he played the Pot of Gold music festival in Tempe, Ariz. — the same day new song King Kunta surfaced online. He previously released the racially charged The Blacker the Berry and Grammy-winning i, all three of which are included on Butterfly's deluxe edition.The full album is available to stream on Spotify (but fair warning, it contains explicit language).Butterfly has already gotten many on Twitter buzzing, particularly one of Lamar's most vocal fans, Taylor Swift: Continue Reading

All the celebs who will be in Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ video, from Lena Dunham to Kendrick Lamar

Bad Blood, which will premiere during the Billboard Music Awards, is looking a lot more like a movie than a traditional video. And given the cast list Swift has slowly been tweeting out, it looks like it's going to be the most star-studded "movie" of the summer (sorry, Avengers: Age of Ultron). Here's who has hopped on board the very Sin City-esque video so far: Selena Gomez as Arsyn Cara Delevingne as Mother Chucker character from Paper Towns ran away to join a Taylor Swift music video. Obviously. Mariska Hargitay as Justice Ellen Pompeo as Luna Martha Hunt as Homeslice Jessica Alba as Domino actually going to be Sin City 3. Serayah as Dilemma Empire in it. Karlie Kloss as Knockout Kendrick Lamar as Welvin Da Great is Welvin, hmm? Lena Dunham as Lucky Fiori Hailee Steinfeld as The Trinity Ellie Goulding as Destructa X Gigi Hadid as Slay-Z Hayley Williams as The Crimson Curse Zendaya as Cut-Throat Lily Aldrige as Frostbyte Bad Blood music video at the start of the 2015 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May, 17, 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Let's just hope director Joseph Kahn gets the video in on time: Continue Reading

Best albums of 2017 (so far): Hurray for the Riff Raff, Kendrick Lamar, Playboy Manbaby, Sampha

Is it even possible to be having a better 2017 than Kendrick Lamar has been enjoying at the halfway point? His latest album, "DAMN.," is both the biggest-selling and most universally acclaimed recording of 2017. And with good reason. He'd have topped our list if it weren't for Hurray for the Riff Raff.Here's a look at those and other highlights of the year to date, including the Valley's own Playboy Manbaby.This is deeply soulful rock and roll that filters vivid storytelling through echoes of street-corner doo-wop, the Brill Building, early Van Morrison, punk as Patti Smith defined it, country as the Rolling Stones defined it, Alan Lomax field recordings, Puerto Rican folk, the Velvet Underground and several generations' worth of thinking-person's rock and roll. A concept album that follows a “wandering soul named Navita at a crossroads of identity and ancestral weight,” it’s both intensely personal and as political as sharing the intensely personal entails in 2017.On “Rican Beach,” she sings, “Now all the politicians, they just squawk their mouths / They said ‘We'll build a wall to keep them out’ / And all the poets were dying of a silence disease / So it happened quickly and with much ease.”But the album’s emotional apex is “Pa’Lante.” The title is Latin American slang for moving forward, and as the emotional suite examining the pain that comes with cultural assimilation arrives at its triumphant climax, she begins to punctuate her every thought with a cry of “Pa’Lante.”She’s searching for her “lost humanity” and finds it in a soulful celebration of her heritage as a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent without pretending that the forces that have made her feel the need to prove her worth are any less oppressive. Released against the backdrop of what’s going on right now in terms of immigration, it’s especially cathartic, depressingly Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar tops Billboard 200 for first time with third album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’

Rapper Kendrick Lamar topped the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday for the first time, as his latest album became the second biggest seller of the year so far. "To Pimp A Butterfly," Lamar's third studio record, sold 324,000 albums, 125,000 songs and 3.9 million streams for a tally of 363,000 units, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. It came in behind Drake's "If You're Reading This, It's Too Late" album, which sold 495,000 albums in its opening week in February, becoming 2015's biggest seller so far. The Billboard 200 chart tallies album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album). Last week's chart-topper, the soundtrack to Fox TV's hit hip-hop drama "Empire," dropped to No. 2 with 110,000 units, while alt-rockers Modest Mouse debuted at No. 3 with their latest album, "Strangers To Ourselves," tallying 77,000 units. The only other new entry to crack the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart was British singer Marina and the Diamonds at No. 8 with "Froot." On the Digital Songs chart, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars held onto the top spot with their catchy "Uptown Funk!" selling 187,000 downloads in the past week. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ review: Album shows rapper with a wider vision, hotter music

On his game-changing debut album, Kendrick Lamar wrote vividly about the world he grew up in. On his astonishingly accomplished new album, Lamar writes even more vividly about the world at large. It's in every way an expansion of Lamar's vision, with far more exciting, funky and outgoing music to accompany it. To make a leap of that magnitude cannot be underestimated. When Lamar exploded onto the scene in 2012 with "good kid mAAd city," the Compton-reared emcee re-wrote the rules of West Coast hip-hop. Instead of inhabiting the gangsta characters in the Death Row mold, he played the brainy observer. He was both a product of the area and an outsider — one armed with the skills, and will, to transcend any ghetto limitations. No wonder the album earned comparisons to Nas' "Illmatic," the cinematic view of New York project life in the late 1980s and early '90s. It also made Lamar so respected that when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took best rap album over him at the 2013 Grammys, Macklemore wound publicly apologizing to Lamar. On "To Pimp A Butterfly," Lamar expands from regional concerns to address general issues of race, power, madness and desire. He kicks off the long album with songs such as "For Free" and "King Kunta" that reference slavery. But he hasn't turned into a lecturer or a scold. In tracks like "U," Lamar expresses his personal fears in a rush of rhymes so anxious, it sounds like he's about to have a mental breakdown. In all these songs, Lamar offers a far different sound than fired "mAAd city." Where that album sounded methodical and internalized, with dreamy beats and supple bass lines, "Butterfly" feels manic and embracing. It's faster, and more fully musical, with fresh forays into horn-driven, and playful, jazz. There are also snatches of Southern funk that may remind you of vintage OutKast. There's even a Sufjan Stevens sample, along with a more expected one from the Isley Brothers. Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ drops on iTunes and Spotify one week early

Move over Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar also has some musical surprises under his sleeve. The California rapper’s fans received a delightful surprise Sunday night with the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Before Sunday night, Lamar’s devotees were under the impression that the follow up to his 2012 acclaimed debut album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” was slated for a March 23 release. He took to Twitter on March 6 to announce the release date by linking to an iTunes page which revealed that the album contained 16 tracks, including his most recent release, “The Blacker the Berry.” Lamar’s post also indicated that his latest project would not include his two-time Grammy Award-winning song, “i,” which he released last fall. Now, the album is available in its entirety on iTunes and Spotify one week early. While “Berry” is included among the 16 tracks as promised, “i” is also in the lineup as well as “King Kunta,” which leaked online last week. No matter how his new project is rolling out, if “i” — which Pharrell Williams described as pure “brilliance” after its September release — is any indication of what fans can expect, the album will not disappoint. “I taught myself to really be in the studio and come up with ideas,” the Compton native previously told Complex magazine. “Being on the road, you start to become like a robot.”  If his formula results in anything like Queen Bey’s highly successful self-titled 2013 surprise release, which sold more than 617,000 units in one weekend, Lamar will likely be feeling flawless. Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ breaks Spotify record with 9.6 million streams in 1 day, bumps Drake

Kendrick Lamar tackled one of the biggest challenges in music — a sophomore album that lives up to his first. Spotify is reporting 9.6 million streams of his new album "To Pimp a Butterfly" on its first day, beating the previous record-holder, Drake. The Compton, Calif.-native surprised fans Monday by dropping his second studio album one week early on iTunes and Spotify. "Kendrick put his album out early," Taylor Swift tweeted. "No one touch me." Two days later and Lamar goes down in the history books of the streaming service.  The 27-year-old rapper's critically acclaimed debut album "good kid, m.A.A.d. city" was a tough act to follow. Fans first got a taste of his new music in September with the release of "i," which Pharrell Williams described as "brilliance" on Twitter. That track was followed by "The Blacker the Berry" and "King Kunta," which leaked online last week. iTunes has yet to release sales totals for the album's first week since it has only been out for two days. But if it's anything like his first album, which has earned comparisons to Nas' "Illmatic," it will surely be a huge success. "If anything, aside from 'good kid,' it'll probably feel even more raw," Lamar said on New York City's Hot 97 in November when discussing the new album. "I really stick with four producers that I've been working with since day one. I don't really go outside the box of that soundwave." Continue Reading

Hot 97’s Summer Jam lineup: Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, more to perform

The hottest hip-hop/R&B show of the year will be headlined by the best-reviewed rapper of the season. Kendrick Lamar will top-line Hot 97’s Summer Jam. The show, which is set to take place at MetLife Stadium on June 7, was announced by the station Tuesday morning. Other stars performing on the main stage will include Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Big Sean, Fabolous & Friends, Meek Mill, Ty Dolla, $ign & Friends, Omarion, Childish Gambino and others to be announced later. The smaller “Festival Stage” - devoted to up-and-comers - will feature Travi$ Scott, Joey Bada$$, DeJ Loaf and Teyana Taylor. “This is the event that is known throughout the world as the premiere hip-hop concert to be at,” Deon Levinston, General Manager for Hot 97, said in a statement. Tickets are now on sale at Lamar has been riding high of late on his rapturously reviewed new album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.” The album opened at No. 1 on last week’s Billboard Top 200 chart. Continue Reading

Kendrick Lamar announces March 23 release date for new album

Get ready, Kendrick Lamar fans: The rapper’s new album will drop in a matter of weeks. The Grammy-winning rapper took to Twitter to announce that his follow-up to “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” will be released March 23. Lamar made the reveal by linking to an iTunes page that contains only a few details about the new album: It will have 16 tracks including his most recent release, “The Blacker the Berry.” but not, “i,” the single he dropped last fall which earned him two Grammy Awards. The album is currently available for pre-order. As for the album's name, it is simply listed as “[Untitled].” ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading