Do we need to say "surprise!" anymore, or can we just tell you, with a straight, excited-as-hell face that Kendrick Lamar quietly shared his new album, To Pimp a Butterfly overnight? It's a surprise only in that it's the best Monday morning treat imaginable—if anyone thought K-Dot was going to let Drizzy Drake and Beyoncé overshadow him with the new de facto strategy for long-awaited albums, they were sorely mistaken.
Stream To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar's third studio album, the follow up to 2012's good kid, m.A.A.d city, right here, and/or buy it on iTunes—AND read through the Fuse staff's listening party, too!
Just 10 days ago, Kendrick announced his still-shadowy album by simply sharing an iTunes link for an untitled release with 15 untitled songs and one we knew, the haunting, hammering "The Blacker the Berry." The release was slated for March 23—a week from today—and was one of Fuse's 29 Most Anticipated Spring Albums.
Recent surprise albums have included, as we said, Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late (February 13) and Skrillex and Diplo's self-titled tag-team record under the moniker Jack Ü (February 27). Kanye West also all but confirmed that So Help Me God, his seventh solo album, will show up unannounced. "100 percent," he told The Breakfast Club, "Release dates is played out."
Unlike good kid, m.A.A.d City, To Pimp a Butterfly boasts very few cameos. The ones that are here, though? FIRE. Parliament-Funkadelic guru George Clinton is on track one, "Wesley's Theory"; Snoop Dogg's on track four, "Institutionalized"; lightning-in-a-bottle North Carolina up-and-comer Rapsody guests on "Complexion (A Zulu Love)"—a centerpiece on an album of centerpieces. There are also multiple appearances by 35-year-old neo-soul/R&B artist Bilal, Los Angeles solo act Thundercat (an associate of Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus), and Anna Wise, who contributed vocals to the stellar good kid track "Real." The producers who worked together to create a futuristic, funk-'n'-jazz-tastic soundscape include Pharrell, Terrace Martin, Sounwave, LoveDragon, Flying Lotus, Boi-1da, and Taz Arnold AKA Ti$A.
Stay tuned to Fuse today and throughout the week for our reactions to an album we've been waiting on for more than two years. For now: Happy Kendrick day!