Kendrick Lamar- Untitled Unmastered Review

In the time that passed from 2012 to 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s style had changed drastically. In his previous albums prior to To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick’s approach to his music was a familiar scene; hard-hitting delivery with deeply symbolic lyrics that were blanketed in memorable, up-tempo beats.


It was a formula for success, as Kendrick quickly became one of the industry’s most respected hip-hop artists. To Pimp a Butterfly was a drastic, but refreshing change to Kendrick’s style, as the consistent use of jazz melodies and tempos combined with Kendrick’s signature hard-hitting delivery of social undertones offered a sound that was unheard of.


Now, in 2016, more than a year after he dropped To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick surprised the world again by offering a deeper insight into his transformed style with the release of untitled unmastered. The album contains a series of 8 unreleased outtakes from To Pimp a Butterfly.


The tracks on this album follow suit to the album’s name, with each track being labeled untitled with each chronological number following it, as well as the year that the specific song was recorded.


Its clear from the introduction of the very first song that these songs could fit right in with To Pimp a Butterfly’s track list, as the familiar ominous atmosphere containing the signature jazz elements and unique arrangement of melodies that made To Pimp a Butterfly so memorable are the norm on this album. The tracks all flow well, with every track transitioning to another in a way that isn’t too abrupt or out of place.


What makes it more interesting, however, is that we also get to hear samples of Kendrick’s original sound show up in certain songs. A sound reminiscent of the general atmosphere of Section .80 comes to mind as Kendrick slugs a call and response style verse with Jay Rock, which is an elegantly vicious attack on the beat that the boys from TDE have been proficient in with past endeavors. Kendrick also shows the unique narrative style that he has on To Pimp a Butterfly and G.O.O.D Kid M.A.A.D City on the second track, where Kendrick exaggerates his voice and swaps flows at several points in the song.


Another element on the album is Kendrick’s use of motifs. One of the most common elements on To Pimp a Butterfly was Kendrick’s repetition of various themes within the tracks or in interludes, more specifically, the re-occurring poem that Kendrick recites at the end of certain songs. Considering that untitled unmastered is practically an extension of To Pimp a Butterfly, its not surprising that Kendrick had these re-occurring themes appear, especially Kendrick’s chanting of, “pimp pimp,” which is found at the beginning of the second and seventh tracks on the album



Untitled Unmastered offers further insight into the mind of Kendrick, offering ideas that, while missed the initial cut or just were plain not released, still offer a unique view at a man’s take on societal distress, and is a very suitable addition to Kendrick’s track record as an artist.

Interview with Krrum by Mercedes Silva

1. How has your upbringing/ hometown had an affect on your music, if any?

Growing up in the countryside meant I kind of had to figure everything out for myself. There weren’t any local scenes to get involved with, just a few bands and songwriters making wildly varying music. I didn’t appreciate the music my parents listened to until relatively recently either. I didn’t really hone down on a sound until I went to university. Moving to Leeds and collaborating with musicians helped me to gauge what my own music was missing.

2. At what point in you life did you know that you wanted to pursue music as a career?

I think I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the arts of some kind. I tried art and acting along side music growing up but music was the only one that stuck around, so it just made sense to me to pursue it.

3. What was the inspiration for your track ‘Evil Twin’ ?

It’s about taking all the things you don’t like about yourself or the things you regret doing and personifying that as someone else (your evil twin), as a method of getting over it. It’s also a realisation that the person you’ve created is the only one who knows these dark things about you. And when you zoom out, as both people are technically you – it means you’re the only person who fully understands yourself and everyone is lonely in that way. A proper positive song, anyway…

4. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Definitely Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) mainly because I’d love to see how he works and what his writing process is. Also Kanye West. Say what you want about him but he’s hugely influential on this generation. They’re both mates too so can I chose both of them? That would be the dream.

5. What has been the most memorable event that has occurred in your career thus far?

Personally playing Reading + Leeds festival (in another band) was a highlight for me musically. In Krrum it would probably be getting number 1 on hype machine. I don’t really know what it means but it feels good.

6. What do you do in your spare time other than create music?

That’s been a bit of a difficult one since I started making music full time. I burn out from writing/producing and don’t really have a separate outlet anymore. Still need to work it out.

7. How does your Electronic/Pop music stand out compared to other artists who are doing the same thing?

I wouldn’t like to say really! I guess we start from an organic place most of the time, real sounding instruments and vocals then contort them instead of using mainly electronic synths and that. I find it’s best not to think about how to stand out or what other artists in our field are doing and focus on making art that you’re happy with.

8. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the music industry, and why?

If I had to say, it would probably be Justin Vernon again, simply for writing music that’s inspired me. It’s the kind of thing that’s always changing for me though. Currently love Father John Misty. I’ve not had that child-like ‘I wish I was him’ thing for ages but he has brought it out in me.

9. What would you be doing if you were not doing music? Or have you always seen yourself doing music?

I’ve always seen myself doing music and if being an artist didn’t work out I’d probably still want to go into the industry in some way. But hypothetically, if I wasn’t allowed to do anything music related, I’d work with animals. Maybe in like a Red panda or a monkey sanctuary or something. Something exotic, I couldn’t be a dog walker.

10. What is one thing you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?

The songs are written with a certain intention of intensity. So I’d like to think they’d feel that. Ideally, I’d like people to identify with the lyrics, the way that I have with artists I’ve listened to.

11. What kind of experience do you want fans to have at one of your future concerts?

I’d obviously want them to enjoy it and similarly I’d hope they’d feel the intensity but really I just want them to walk away from it and say ‘they’re a fucking great live band.’

Interview with Dom, the bassist for Eat Your Heart Out by Cullen Ronan.

1. When and how did Eat Your Heart Out form?

We formed mid to late 2012. Caitlin and Andrew started the band and got Will in on guitar. We were doing a music production course at the time so he got me involved. And Jake was at first a temporary drummer but he’s stuck around with us ever since. God bless him.

2. What is the story behind the band name?

The name is a pretty common phrase but it’s use at the beginning of a Dead Kennedy’s song stuck out to me. I mentioned it to the others and they liked it as well.

3. What genre would you consider yourselves?

When we first started playing we were pigeon holed into the Paramore-core category which really annoyed everyone I think. But I’d say we’re just an alternative rock band. No need to delve any deeper than that.

4. Is there an active alternative music scene in Australia?

Definitely! Of course you just have to live on the east coast to be a part of it. It’s really difficult to tour regional Australia and I can’t even imagine how the bands who actually live out in those areas manage to do it. There’s a lot of driving between towns, but if you’ve got fans out there it’s totally worth it!

5. Any chance for a U.S tour in the near future?

We definitely want to tour the States. Caitlin spent a holiday over there traveling with her parents a few years ago and I’ve always wanted to plan a huge road trip across the country. But as for the near future, I think we’re still a while off.

6. Explain the challenges that arose when recording your debut EP “Distance Between Us”

I can’t think of anything that stands out. We wrote the songs and booked in the studio time with our pal Mitta Norath who manages to make everything very easy. I think we spent 6 or 7 stressless days with him.

7. What was the inspiration behind the album artwork for “Distance Between Us”

A local photographer took the picture and posted it to his Facebook page. We came across it and thought the image tied in well with our lyrical content. So we shot him a message and he was happy for us to use it.

8. You guys filmed a music video for your songs “Postcard”, “Ghost”, and “Future”. What led you to chose these 3 for your eventual music videos?

Ghost was released before the rest of the EP was even written. It was sort of just a single we had. Then after recording the rest of the songs we decided that Future was our personal favourite, and Postcard seems to be a favourite for most of our friends and fans. It was received really well upon the EP release so we took a mate of ours on tour to film everything we got up to.

9. Eat Your Heart Out has opened for bands such as Hands Like Houses, Trophy Eyes, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Are there any other bands in particular you would love to tour with?

I think Joyce Manor would be very cool. We’re all big fans of those guys and their album definitely gets played at least once on every trip we make.

10. What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever been a part of, on stage or in the audience?

Personally my most memorable show was Green Day at the SCG in 2005. It was my first concert and the reason I wanted to play music.

Donovan Melero Interview

By Cullen Ronan

Interview with RIVRS by Mercedes Silva

1) What inspired you to start making music?

We started making music a few years ago. Grimes was a big inspiration, she was making amazing music that sounded so DIY, it felt like music suddenly became more of an accessible thing.

2) How much of an impact has music had on your life?

Music has soundtracked my life, and i definitely relate moments or time periods of my life to bands or artists I was into at the time. Actually, Fin and I met in 2009 – he asked if I wanted to hear his new vinyl of a new band called ‘The XX’ the day we met.

3) If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing instead?

I can’t really imagine myself doing anything different!

4) What has been your favorite place to perform?

Our single ‘Last Love’ was released on Kitsune and for the launch we played the Ace Hotel in London. The venue has more of a clubby and industrial feel being underground, which worked perfectly with our bassey sound!

5) I see that you have opened up for Mariana and the Diamonds. How was that experience?

It was so great, probably some some of the funnest days we’ve had for the band. Touring and performing is definitely the best part where all the hard work comes together. We also got to meet Marina, who was so lovely.

6) What is the best part about touring?

Just driving around to new places you’ve never been before. Newcastle was the furthest North I’ve ever been in the UK. Also audience reaction on twitter, and the supportive comments we got after the gigs were really nice.

7) What do you want people to know about you as individuals, or as a band?

We love pop music just as much as love more left-field/underground music. We’re also inspired by older artists like The Cure, Everything but the Girl and Depeche Mode, as well as newer artists like SBTRKT, The XX and James Blake.

8) Who do you one day hope to work with?

We’d love to work with Grimes, or SBTRKT.

9) What was the inspiration behind ‘Last Love’?

It was inspired by the feeling you get with your first love, where you feel like it’s gonna last forever.

10) If you could tour in any place and with anyone, who would it be and why?

We’d love to tour the US with Grimes.


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