The rap music community is Dying of Thirst, and by that I mean we are all dying for a new Kendrick Lamar album. It's been over four years since he released DAMN. Based on his previous release schedule (Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City in 2012, To Pimp A Butterfly in 2015) it seemed reasonable to assume a new album would come in 2020. Looking at it logically, he probably planned on releasing new music, but then the pandemic hit and the music touring industry shut down and any plans went to hell, just like everything else.
I have nothing to back that up. It just makes a certain amount of sense from what we know about Kendrick. He's a rapper and an intelligent businessman who knows he can't go too long without dropping something, but won't do so if there's a benefit in waiting. So here we are. Waiting for the best rapper in the world to release something, anything!
Which is why the people were roused by this tweet by Top Dawg Entertainment this morning, the label Kendrick reps along with artists such as Schoolboy Q and SZA. The tweet declared, "The wait is OVAH!" with the promise of... something coming on May 7.
Us Kendrick Lamar fans are so starved for music that we all jumped on this and believed this is a teaser for a new Kendrick album. Sadly, I am here to dissuade my fellow fans of that notion.
There's no chance TDE is teasing a Kendrick Lamar album like this. Zero. Everyone else on the label's roster has talent, and Schoolboy Q and SZA especially have garnered a lot of national attention over the last five or so years. But Kendrick is their only international superstar. Mr. Worldwide. Everybody knows who he is. They aren't doing something this simple and low-key to tease a new album from their top rapper.
Not to mention this isn't really Kendrick's style. He just releases stuff. He released "Humble", the hit song off DAMN, suddenly and without any warning. He dropped TPAB at one in the morning a week before its scheduled release date. From his actions, a conclusion can be drawn that he values the shock factor above a slow build-up. This tweet isn't a "slow" build-up because it's announcing a release that's a week away, but it's still not really anything like what Kendrick has done in the past.
I want new music from the man as badly as anybody else. I firmly believe he's one of the most talented rappers to ever exist. Music from him would be a bright light in the darkness of a pandemic world, even if that darkness fades as vaccines become more widespread in the United States. But this ain't how it's gonna happen. It still might happen this year. It might even happen in May. But not like this. Regretfully, the waiting game continues.