Kendrick Lamar fans have been speculating on his next album since he dropped the Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN. back in 2017. Now, a new interview suggests that he's returning soon with new music, and hopefully, a follow-up album.
Speaking to i-D, Lamar explained why we've had to wait so long for a new album, revealing he's been working on perfecting a new sound in this time. "That’s what will take me so long to do albums," he said, "I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m gonna execute a new sound."
In the intervening years between DAMN. and now, the Compton rapper has bagged an Academy Award nomination for curating Marvel’s Black Panther soundtrack and teamed up with everyone from SZA to James Blake.
In 2018, a leaked tweet from Interscope Records-affiliate Polydor Records indicated he would be dropping a new album in 2019, too, but obviously, that didn't happen. However, thanks to new information from industry insiders – and Lamar himself – we have renewed excitement for an impending album.
Here's everything we know so far about Kendrick Lamar's new album.
When will Kendrick Lamar's new album drop?
As he shared in his interview with i-D, Kendrick Lamar has been feeling the "jinx" of following up his lauded albums and this is why there are usually substantial gaps between releases. “I already knew off the top I can’t make Good Kid M.A.A.D City Part Two," he reflected.
Before the coronavirus hit, Lamar was preparing to tour the UK and Europe and fans had hoped that it was to promote a new album. And while the tour was disrupted, it looks like the album is on-track to drop soon ...ish. Until rumors started circulating about him leaving his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, that is.
Taking to Instagram to address those rumors, Kendrick delivered a cryptic message about pickle juice sweat that might be referring to the album being ready, and he and TDE CEO Anthony Tiffith are sitting on the release.
“Top, you gotta stop them from smutting my name, man,” he said. “They been smutting my name all year, man. You ain’t said nothing. Enough is enough, man. Got ’em saying I done shook the label and all that. They must don’t know about that, that pickle juice that’s under your red cap, man. About that sweat, the sweat that’s holding that red cap together, reason why it don’t fall off your head, man. That lubricant. You need to tell them that the reason why that cap don’t fall off yo’ head, man. So why would I fall off? Watching cartoons, man.”
Earlier this year, Tiffith also promised a quick return from King Kendrick.
What will the next Kendrick Lamar album sound like?
Lamar has often drawn sonic influences from beyond hip-hop. He enlisted some of the most exciting and innovative jazz musicians on To Pimp a Butterfly, and recent rumors suggest his new album will be a similar cross-genre situation.
In his most recent interview, Lamar revealed he's been working on a "new sound." "I can’t do the same thing over and over. I need something to get me excited," Lamar explained.
However, rumor has it, Lamar's latest sonic endeavor could be his most radical yet. In a tweet in January, Bill Werde revealed that Lamar's latest project is “pulling in more rock sounds.”
What is Kendrick Lamar's new album called?
As of yet, we have no idea what Kendrick's fifth studio album will be called. His previous full-length albums include Section.80, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, To Pimp a Butterfly, and DAMN., which has since been certified triple platinum.
Who will appear on the album?
Thundercat revealed that he has been working on Kendrick Lamar‘s untitled new album. The musician confirmed the news in a video interview with Japanese fashion brand Neet Tokyo on March 27.
Kendrick Lamar new album cover art
Without even an album name to go on yet, obviously, we have no new album art to share with you. It could be that he teams up with Vlad Sepetov again, though, seeing as he created the covers for To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN.
Kendrick Lamar new album tracklist and guest artists
No word has released yet regarding potential tracks and collaborators on Kendrick's new album, other than Thundercat as previously mentioned. “I think I worked on the new one a little bit,” he said of the project. “But not as much.”
Thundercat collaborated with Lamar on To Pimp A Butterfly, and he also contributed to untitled unmastered. and DAMN.