The more years logged in the rap game, the more unreleased material an artist accrues. Interviews, performances, and advance album previews all give way to song details and/or snippets leaking—songs that, ultimately, never officially see the light of day.
These tracks become almost mythic in a way, as everything from sample clearances to a plain ol’ change in artistic vision leaves them collecting dust in a metaphorical vault. With several years as a mainstream artist whose star is constantly ascending, Kendrick Lamar is starting to build up his own stockpile of songs his fanbase is dying to hear in CDQ. We’d like him to stop playing with our emotions and show some goodwill before the pile gets larger. Here are five—although there are surely more—rumored or else previewed tracks that K-dot has yet to actually release. Listen up, Dot: the streets demand it.
“Temptation” f/ J. Cole
Look, we have no illusions about two A-list rappers pausing their own fast-moving solo careers so early on to sit and do a collab album. Which is to say, I’m not holding my breath for that project Kendrick and J. Cole have long teased. But dammit, this song is clearly already done and in the stash, as evidenced by this video. And it sounds like a fucking HEATER. J. Cole comes in talking like, “thin waist, Gina face, Pam body,” then Kendrick matches him with one of his insane flows, and like where the hell is this? Kendrick apparently played it at a random spot in L.A. and it’s never been heard from again. Watch the vid above and try not to jig along with ScHoolboy to this smooth fire. Drop a loosie for the kids, guys.
When Kendrick premiered this jazzy, spoken-word-esque cut live on the last episode of The Colbert Report it was in the lead-up to To Pimp a Butterfly. Everyone assumed it was a song on the album. But not only is it not on TPAB, K-dot collaborator Terrace Martin disclosed to us that it literally only exists on The Colbert Report. It was a moment, straight up—there isn’t even a master. Props to Kendrick for wanting to recapture the fleeting romanticized “moment,” but we’ll even settle for a live high quality mp3 rip, bruh.
“Pyrex (It’s Alive)” f/ Dr. Dre
Fans who were thrown by To Pimp a Butterfly’s sonic swerve were likely expecting something closer to this. A late 2013 Beats commercial showed Dot and Dre back at it, presumably at work on good Kid‘s follow-up. Several months later, the first offering from the actual project was…”i.” Quite unlike this hard-hitting, double-time, peak Kendrick-alien voice banger the commercial dramatizes them making. While it’s weird that Kendrick would make a brand new song never to be heard or performed again just for Colbert, it’s extremely possible that “It’s Alive” only exists for the purposes of this Beats clip. But in the off-chance that it doesn’t—maybe it was one of a thousand Detox sessions—then it’d be nice if it mysteriously leaked.
Kendrick’s tour de force, grossly VMA-snubbed visual for “Alright” has a lot going for it—gorgeous cinematography, striking imagery, great concept. It also has about 30 seconds worth of new music around the two minute mark before “Alright” actually comes in. The song, seemingly produced by frequent producer-collaborator Sounwave, sonically sounds in line with the rest of the TPAB sessions. Good God this shit is smooth, and Kendrick is squarely in the pocket. This definitely exists somewhere, and the abrupt cut suggests there’s more to it. Since our introduction to it features all of Black Hippy mobbing along why not make it a crew cut?
“Cartoons & Cereal 2”
It’s no secret how fond we are of this song over here at Complex dot com. With the wealth of material Kendrick’s put out since, it still remains one of his top songs. At the end of the thunderous, Gunplay-assisted banger a voice can be heard saying, “to be continued.” Staying in theme, most cartoons always follow-up with a new adventure. Could Kendrick ever bring himself to make a sequel to one of his best songs?
source: complex.com BY FRAZIER THARPE