Kendrick Lamar hasn’t released an album in three years, but that’s not because of a shortage of recorded music, his engineer revealed in a new interview with “The ETCs” podcast. According to MixedByAli, Kendrick is actually sitting on about six albums worth of unreleased music.
“For Kendrick alone, let me say I think we could put together like six albums,” MixedByAli said around 34 minutes into the chat. “Everyone’s the same way; it’s all about just understanding that you could always do something better. It’s having that mindset to just strive for the best possible version of you.”
“That’s Kendrick’s whole mind state — always striving to do better,” he continued. “Whether it’s recording a new verse… you know he would record a whole song and get one ad-lib back a month later because he don’t like how he breathed the ad-lib?”
Last month, speculation about Kendrick’s next release prompted the Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper to defend his standing in Top Dawg Entertainment. Fans claimed Kendrick was going to leave the label to focus on his new company, pgLang. However, he put a stop to those rumors on Instagram.
“Top, you gotta stop them from smutting my name,” he wrote in the since-deleted post, referring to label CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. “Enough is enough. Got them saying I done shook the label and all that.”
Kendrick’s TDE family has also egged on rumors about his next musical drop, with Tiffith promising “King Kendrick’s” return earlier this year. Likewise, label president Terrence “Punch” Henderson went back-and-forth with fans after speculating about the possibility of a joint Kendrick and J. Cole album.
Kendrick himself hasn’t announced any upcoming music, but late last month he did sign a new global administration deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. In announcing the new partnership, UMPG CEO and Chairman Jody Gerson praised Kendrick’s talent and activism.
“Kendrick Lamar is not only one of the greatest lyricists that has ever lived, but he has done as much or more than any artist to promote much needed change in our society through music,” Gerson said.