EP Review | Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.

Click HERE to purchase this EP.

YESSS. Okay, I’m just gonna get this preamble outta the way as quickly as I can. After the Grammys—WHICH WERE FUCKING GOD AWFUL BTW—Lebron James hit Top Dawg up on Twitter and was like…

Then Top Dawg was like…

Then, a few days later, Top Dawg posted this on Instagram…

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I was like “gawddamn…” THEN, he said THIS.

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A lot of people were thinking that it would be ScHoolboy Q since he seemed to be the closest one to being done with his album, but that didn’t really make sense to me… I don’t think ScHoolboy Q would drop an album out of the air with no promotion like that. He’s not on that level yet. The only thing that really made sense to me was what we ended up getting: a bunch of loose throwaway tracks from Kendrick’s latest album. I’m surprised other people didn’t predict this shit like I did. I mean, if you look back at everything Top Dawg said, it was pretty obvious that this was gonna happen. Anyway, as soon as that shit dropped I bought it on iTunes.

I’m just gonna go ahead and listen to this shit right now because I’m incredibly excit- Wait… Just Blaze just tweeted something…

What the fuck… If this motherfucker is lying I swear to fucking GOD I will be PISSED. I mean… Well, I can’t really be mad… Kendrick just gave us new music… Whatever. Lemme just get this over with right now.

Track 1: untitled 01 | 08.19.2014. (Prod. Ritz)

FUCK. I don’t have production credits… Whatever. I’ll just update this shit when it comes out. Or maybe it’s in the iTunes info… Lemme check… Nope. It’s not here. There aren’t any features listed here. I can tell from Rob Markman’s tweets that there are other artists on here tho… Fuck. Alright, it doesn’t matter. I can’t believe this is happening. I thought for sure it’d be at least another two years before we got new music… OH MY GOD. I just had a thought… What if he puts the song from the intro of the Alright music video on this shit?? OR the song from the fuckin’ Dr. Dre beats commercial???? Okay. It’s starting now. I have the motherfucking volume up so loud right now. I have school tomorrow. It’s gonna be a rough day. Well, no it isn’t. I’m ’bout to be playin’ this shit on the way to school. Alright, this intro did not need to be here… It’s just making me uncomfortable. All I’m hearing is some guy talking dirty to a girl he’s fuckin’. “All on you baby / Push it back on daddy / Push it back on daddy baby.” The way it’s recorded makes it seem like whoever’s saying it is talking directly in my ear. I’m so uncomfortable… Okay, the song’s actually starting now. Finally. That intro lasted over a minute. This beat is dope. It sounds like a grimier version of something that would’ve been on To Pimp A Butterfly. Basically, if you look at the EP cover, that’s what this beat sounds like. Kendrick’s goin’ the fuck in. Lyrically, this track is pure insanity. It sounds like he’s rapping about the fuckin’ apocalypse or some shit like that. Or maybe it’s just another day in the hood… Damn. It seems like he made this after To Pimp A Butterfly… “I made To Pimp a Butterfly ‘fore you told me to use my vocals to save mankind for you,” but the song title makes me think it was made in 2014… I don’t know… The song is just one verse, but Kendrick was rappin’ his motherfuckin’ ass off. Goddamn. That outro is smoother than a motherfucker too. Who are the female vocals from? I don’t know who that is, but it kinda sounds like Erykah Badu to me. I’m probably wrong tho. I don’t know. It’s probably just Anna Wise again. Anyway, I enjoyed this song, but I’m not blown away. Kendrick did his thing, but as a song this isn’t on the level that I would expect from him. That intro was way too long. That’s really my only problem with this song tho. I fuck with this. Kendrick fucking killed this shit. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 2: untitled 02 | 06.23.2014. (Prod. Yung Exclusive & Cardo)

This intro is honestly a little corny to me. “Pimp-pimp / HOORAY.” It’s not enough to hurt the track that much but— OOHHH MY GOD THIS FUCKING BEAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.

Cosby

Goddamn, this shit is smoother than a motherfucker. FUCK. This beat is better than sex. Hahahahahahahaha. I’m gonna start sayin’ that about shit. Kendrick sounds like a motherfuckin’ dog that’s been severely abused singin’ on this shit. He sounds… Honestly, he sounds fucking awful on this shit. I’m really not feelin’ that. He sounds like… This is reminding me of the hook from Do Me No Favors by Troy Ave. That’s not a good thing. Oh shit, this verse is from that Colbert performance. Or maybe it was Jimmy Fallon… The one where he’s all like “I AM THE ONE / I CAN PUT A RAPPER ON LIFE SUPPORT / GUARANTEE SOMETHING THAT NONE OF YOU WANT.” He fuckin’ ripped that verse to shreds. Fuck, man. I really wish I liked this song. There are a lot of things that I like about, but I can’t get behind Kendrick’s vocals. That verse was fucking insane tho. He murdered that shit. His delivery, flow, lyrics… Everything was incredible. I love that verse. I didn’t really like anything else about it. Well, the beat was dope af, but I didn’t really start enjoying this until he started spitting the Colbert verse. FUCK. I’m gonna have to do some major editing to this track in GarageBand. For now, it’s just okay. 3/5

Track 3: untitled 03 | 05.28.2013. Feat. Thundercat, Bilal, Terrace Martin & Anna Wise (Prod. Astronote) 

FUCK YES. I know this song. This is the original “untitled” track that he performed on The Colbert Report before To Pimp A Butterfly came out. I already know this track is dope. This beat is dope. Kendrick fuckin’ killed that verse. Especially when he started rappin’ about what the white man said. He went off. I love this song. BUT… I don’t know if I’m comfortable calling this dope af. I mean, yeah it definitely IS dope af by most MCs’ standards, but Kendrick isn’t most MCs. I can see why this was originally never supposed to be officially released. I’m not saying that I wish it wasn’t released; I just understand why it was left as a performance for so long. It sounds like it was made for the stage. That’s why it’s so short. I wasn’t in love with that outro either… I enjoyed this track, but not that much. It probably just should’ve been longer. Something’s missing. Maybe it could’ve used another verse. It feels incomplete. It’s just dope. I mean, for Kendrick. For most other MCs this is dope af. This is Kendrick tho, and for Kendrick, this is dope. 4/5

Track 4: untitled 04 | 08.14.2014. Feat. SZA & Jay Rock (Prod. Thundercat, Sounwave & Kendrick Lamar)

This track is less than 2 minutes long… Goddamn… Is that SZA? SZA’s on this track I guess… This is so fucking smooth. Damn. It just ended. It’s not much of a song… Should I even rate this shit? You know what… Fuck it. I will. There’s no room on an 8 track EP for an interlude. I enjoyed the song. I think it would’ve been MUCH better if it was more fleshed out tho. This doesn’t sound like a song. It sounds like an intro to a song. SZA stole the show obviously. There’s no verse from Kendrick. I don’t know who those vocals are from on the outro. (EDIT: According to XXL, it’s Jay Rock. I really couldn’t tell. He didn’t sound bad. It’s not like he was tryin’ to hit a note or anything tho.) It’s just SZA and whoever that guy was singing about how “head is the answer, head is the future.” That’s cool I guess. I enjoyed the song… Kinda. I just don’t see myself ever coming back to this again. Ever. I wouldn’t ever play this shit voluntarily. It’s not the worst shit I’ve ever heard, but it’s just kinda… Wack. It’s just not good. It’s easily the worst track on the EP so far. I’m not feelin’ this. 2/5

Track 5: untitled 05 | 09.21.2014 Feat. Anna Wise, Punch & Jay Rock (Prod. Sounwave & Terrace Martin)

Damn. This beat is dope af. Sonically, this is getting back to that higher quality that I expect from Kendrick these days. I don’t know who these female vocals are… She sounds good tho. (EDIT: It’s Anna Wise) Kendrick’s goin’ in now. Oh, this is the verse from his performance at the Grammys. “Justice ain’t free / Therefore justice ain’t me / So I justify his name on obituary.” This sounds like an actual song. This is great. I fuck with this hook. The first verse was dope af. He didn’t spit the whole verse from the Grammys, but it’s cool I guess. Woah… What the fuck? Is that… Punch? Wow. I wasn’t expecting that… I’m glad he’s here tho. I feel like he’s very underappreciated as an MC. Well, it’s not like he even takes his own rap career seriously, since he only does it for fun, but still. He’s really good for someone who just does it as a hobby. I’d like to hear an EP or something from him. The loose tracks that he’s released over the past few years have been great. His verse was great. “Studied the son of God, but still don’t recognize my flaws / I guess I’m lost; the cost of being successful is equal to being neglectful.” Kendrick’s goin’ in again. WOAH, what the fuck?? IS THAT JAY ROCK? Wow. This is fucking awesome. Kendrick & Jay Rock are trading bars. Jay Rock sounds great over this beat. Damn. He honestly sounds better over this beat than Kendrick. This is fucking great. I really enjoyed this. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 6: untitled 06 | 06.30.2014. Feat. Cee-Lo Green (Prod. Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge)

Damn. This beat is dope. It kinda sounds like elevator muzak. Not in a bad way tho. What the fuck? Is that fuckin’ Cee-Lo Green? Damn. I did not expect that shit at all. Wow. I don’t really mind it. It just kinda caught me off guard. He actually did a great job. I’m not a huge fan of Cee-Lo, but he sounded really damn smooth on this shit. Kendrick’s verse is great. This is dope. I fuck with this. I’m not blown away by anything, but it’s still a really good song to me. I fuck with this. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 7: untitled 07 | 2014 – 2016 (Prod. Frank Dukes, Cardo, Yung Exclusive & Egypt)

This track has the same intro as Track 2. Damn. This beat is fuckin’ crazy. God… DAMN. When that beat fuckin’ drops, this shit is CRAZY. This is the most mainstream sound that a Kendrick song has had since good kid, m.A.A.d. city. This beat is great. It’s more ignorant lyrically too. Hahahaha. Goddamn. The beat just switched up. Apparently, Swizz Beatz’s 5 year old son, Egypt, produced this part. It’s dope. I mean, if the whole song had this beat it wouldn’t be as good, but the way it’s mixed in with the rest of the song makes it more exciting. It’s definitely an amazing beat for a 5 year old. Well… Actually, I’m not sure what the average beat from a 5 year old producer sounds like. I’m sure it’s not as good as this tho. Kendrick went the fuck in on this beat too. He killed that shit. “Hope it’s evident that I inspired a thousand emcees to do better.” Damn. Okay… This long ass outro didn’t need to be here. Kendrick’s singing over an acoustic guitar. This shit sounds like it was recorded in the 1940s. He’s sitting in a room singin’ over a guitar. Damn. This really didn’t need to be here. Okay, I’m done with this song. That third part was cool, but nah. I’m finna have to cut that shit out. This is a dope song. It would’ve been dope af without that long winded outro. That was not necessary. This might’ve been the best track on the project if it weren’t for that outro. I fuck with the song tho. 4/5

Track 8: untitled 08 | 09.06.2014. (Prod. Thundercat & Mono/Poly)

Damn. This beat is dope af. Oh shit. This is the song he performed on Jimmy Fallon’s show. I fuck with this hook. I love the fast pace of this song. This beat is really relaxing too. This would be a good song to play first thing in the morning, as the sun is still rising. This is fucking great. This is one of the best songs on the whole project. Honestly, this is the only song on the album that actually feels complete. Well, I guess Track 5 felt like it was completed. This is good too tho. This is great. I fuck with this shit. This is dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

That was dope. It’s obviously not as good as his actual albums because it’s only 8 tracks long, and most of these songs are leftovers that weren’t good enough to make an official project in the first place. It’s still a dope collection of music tho. Sonically, it’s like a far less polished version of To Pimp A Butterfly. He uses a lot of the same vocal expressions that were heard on that album. The same style of production is used too. It’s obvious that this shit was thrown together pretty quickly. It’s still a good EP tho. Just don’t expect to be blown away. Most of these tracks are clearly incomplete. It’s a collection of ideas spliced together. I enjoyed it tho. It’s dope. If you don’t like Kendrick (…), this isn’t gonna change your mind about him. If you loved To Pimp A Butterfly, and you consider yourself to be one of his core fans, then you should definitely check this out. Just remember what it is tho; it’s only eight leftover tracks. This isn’t his fourth album. If you forget that, you will be disappointed. If you’re a casual fan of Kendrick, I’d skim this. If you only like a few Kendrick songs, I think it’d be okay for you to skip this one. I enjoyed it tho. Of course the Beats commercial song, and the Alright music video intro didn’t make it here… Also, I would’ve loved to hear a diss track towards Jay Electronica. I mean, he did diss him subliminally on… Fuck. I can’t remember with these song titles… It might’ve been track 7. I want a full diss track tho. Anyway, I fuck with this EP. It’s dope to me.

Favorite Song: untitled 05 | 09.21.2014.

Least Favorite Song: untitled 04 | 08.14.2014.

Verdict:

77%

HOTTTTT

Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below.

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Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this EP.

Follow me on Twitter: @OGNickMarsh

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