For the sake of saving a good opening line from becoming another one of those popular click bait headlines, hear this: Kendrick Lamar’s untitled unmastered. is scattered brilliance in raw form.
At eight tracks, spanning at a mere 35-minutes, K. Dot delivers some of the crux responsible for To Pimp A Butterfly’s triumph, but in skeletal form.
Painting vivid portraits of societal happenings ("Preacher man don't always tell the truth"), while leaving room for humble brags like “I could put a rapper on life support” ("untitled 02 l 06.23.2014."), the project is reminiscent of a line from the great GZA: “If it ain’t raw, it’s worthless.” And the term “raw” is probably the best way to describe this listen, because untitled unmastered. is primarily that — a batch of unfinished demo recordings from the TPAB sessions. All unnamed and uncredited, the songs are solely tagged with their respective creation dates (“untitled 03 | 05.28.2013,” “untitled 04 | 08.14.2014”). But even through the skeletal arrangements, the wholeness of this project holds weight.
Back in April 2015, REVOLT talked to the men behind the boards for TPAB, from Terrace Martin and Sounwave to MixedByAli and Tae Beast, for a special discussing the making of Kendrick's Grammy Award-winning opus. But digging through the outtakes, we uncovered some of the gems that didn't get to make the piece — specifically the leftovers that didn't make TPAB.