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Music / October 28, 2020

Is Kendrick Lamar about to drop his new album?

Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9337309bz) Kendrick Lamar accepts the award for best rap album for "Damn" at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, in New York 60th Annual Grammy Awards - Show, New York, USA - 28 Jan 2018
Music / October 28, 2020

Is Kendrick Lamar about to drop his new album?

Words: Dylan Murphy

Kung Fu Kenny just signed a new record deal with Universal Music. It’s part of a wider trend pointing towards an imminent release.

2020 has been tough enough. Through the hours spent in the house, cancelled shows and unbearable strain on people’s mental health art is often what brings people solace. Luckily, we may have some news that’ll take our lockdown listening up a notch.

Last night, October 27 2020, Kendrick Lamar signed an exclusive global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. Subsequently, it’s added weight to the idea that Kendrick is about to drop his fourth solo studio album.

His last was the Pulitzer-winning DAMN that was released in 2017. He swiftly followed that release by curating the original soundtrack for Black Panther, enlisting a host of big names including Jorja Smith and James Blake.

The news comes after Kendrick also took to social media (in bizarre fashion) to dispel rumours that he had left TDE. Now, we know for certain that he will work with TDE and UMG.

Importantly, Kendrick was also locked in for a Glastonbury headline slot in 2020, fuelling rumours that his album was finished and ready for the shelves come summer 2020. Now that time has been and gone, fans are convinced the album is ready to go.

Additionally, Kendrick was then also spotted shooting a music video in September. This was rumoured to be a video from the forthcoming album which with the Glastonbury headliner in mind would suggest is finished.

Meanwhile, Lamar also made a rare press appearance this month in a joint cover with pgLang co-founder and fellow rapper Baby Keem. (Who, as a sidenote is rumoured to be Lamar’s cousin). Since TPAB, Lamar has done fewer interviews, resulting in an increasing shroud of mystery around what he’s up to. Now he has emerged from the shadows and it’s added further fuel to a fire that doesn’t seem like dying out anytime soon.

Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem for i-D.

In a statement on their website following the announcement of Kendrick singing on the dotted line, UMG Chairman CEO Jody Gerson said, “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.”

“I and my colleagues at UMPG are deeply honored to be afforded the opportunity to join Kendrick, Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith and the TDE family to help forward his unique and important vision.”

A new record deal inevitably means new content. When that will be we can’t say exactly, but Kendrick’s movement from relative silence to front and centre points towards a new album. Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.