Album Review: Kendrick Lamar's 'Untitled Unmastered' Masterpiece

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Remember the Kendrick Lamar verse from his "Black Friday" freestyle where he raps, "I merge Jazz fusion with the trap music"? Well, that is exactly what you can expect on Untitled Unmastered, the surprise release from Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment.

We initially thought there would be an Ab-Soul project coming when Top Dawg Entertainment announced a surprise album one night this week. Imagine the surprise when it turned out to be a Kendrick Lamar titled, Untitled Unmastered.

In "Untitled 01" a smokey sensual setting is set with a male voice giving some explicit instructions to a female.

The mood transitions into an apocalyptic onslaught of lyrics that are of biblical proportions.

At the end of it all Lamar tells his listeners to do whatever it is that makes them happy even if it happens to be appealing to vices, however, he urges them to "take it all back before the light switch."

(Album Stream Below)

"Untitled 02" is that terrific blend of a trap beat with a jazzy saxophone blaring in the background. It will be an obvious fan favorite because of the delivery that Lamar uses and how well it fuses with that incredible beat. With the catchy beat and delivery, Lamar uses it in the same fashion he did with "Swimming Pools" on good kid, m.A.A.d city. The catchy nature of the song acts as a way to attract listeners when the actually lyrics of the song happens to target the vices that come with money.

He also points out that TDE is the new mafia of the West issuing a warning to anyone who tries to mess with them. He really makes his flows sound effortless and each one of these tracks sound like freestyles.

On "Untitled 03" Lamar takes a shot at describing some of the ideologies of Asian, Indian, black and white people in just under three minutes. He describes all of the advice that each culture will give but also point out some hypocrisies within them pretty much leveling the playing field for all ideologies.

The beat is a lot jazzier the the previous offerings and the message is crystal clear.

"Untitled 04" finds Lamar, Jay Rock and SZA in a melodic trippy state where there is a deliberate play on words.

SZA sings that "head is the answer" and at first it may sound like they are talking about a sexual act however, the underlying message is for the listener as an individual to use their head/mind to create a better future.

"Untitled 05" seems like a wind down track but it's dark lyrics and inner struggles highlighted by Lamar, Punch and Jay Rock are quite thought provoking as they battle their own inner demons.

These struggles are highlighted in hopes to stop a cycle of violence that only creates more prisoners then free men. Anna Wise's vocals are also relaxing and somewhat simultaneously haunting.

Cee-Lo Green and Lamar make an excellent team on "Untitled 06" which sounds like a celebration of women and an admission of guilt from the male species as a whole.

Green's vocals seamlessly fit the jazzy nature of the track in a pretty successful offering.

Then, Lamar jumps back into the jazz and trap fusion with "Untitled 07." The song reminds the listener to rise above material possessions and find a way to follow your morals or a balance between the two as towards the end of the song Lamar raps, "I blew cheddar on youth centers, buildings an beemers and blue leather."

The final "Pimp Pimp, Hooray!" comes in the form of "Untitled 08" that seems to unravel everything Lamar was preaching in the last seven tracks. Towards the end of the song Lamar has a conversation in which he struggles to match his first world problems with those of someone who lives in a third world country in poverty stricken areas where projects would possibly be seen as a luxury to those living in a hut.

In Untitled Unmastered Kendrick Lamar manages to address, race, religion, privilege, violence, knowledge, hypocrisy and the moral battles we face with vices on a daily basis.

It came as a surprise just as To Pimp A Butterfly did, however, like To Pimp A Butterfly the message is about inspiring individuals to seek and distribute knowledge that can change the world.

You can stream Untitled Unmastered below, let us know what messages you pulled from the album and if you enjoyed it in the comments section below.

Stream Kendrick Lamar's Untitled Unmastered Below