If you are a hip-hop fan, then by now I'm sure you've found a way to listen to the most recent work from King Kendrick, untitled unmastered. This unannounced album dropped out of the blue last week and has everyone saying "levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate," on the daily basis (probably thanks to Lebron James).
The titles, or lack there of, for each song suggests that this 'untitled unmastered' album is a bonus release of some sort. Each track is a interlude between certain tracks on 'To Pimp a Butterfly.' If you listen to each track close enough, you can tell which song from the album was being worked on at the time. However, each track was left untitled as a way for the listener to interpret their own meaning and develop their own titles for the songs. So here are some titles that we came up with:
1. The Warning
This track begins with a very subtle, sexual introduction from Bilal and mentions "a little lamb," suggesting that Kendrick is in a difficult position of arguing with God. He begins his narrative about the book of Revelations coming to past, suggesting that Judgement Day will be upon us if we continue to live the life we are currently living, "Revelation the greatest as we hearing the last trumpet." He then goes on to question how he will be judged during Judgement Day, saying he "made To Pimp A Butterfly" for God as a way to "save mankind." The ending part is a message to listeners encouraging them to live life to the fullest and do whatever you want while you are on Earth, "before the light switch."
2. Leveled Head
This track is another battle or conflict of Kendrick. After his new found success as a global icon, he finds himself battling with issues from his home, Compton; "can't pick a side, the Gemini." In 2015, Kendrick was riding high off the success of 'To Pimp A Butterfly,' while also troubled by those of his friends that were still dying and being locked up in Compton; "I see jiggaboos, I see styrofoams/ My hood goin' brazy." Later in the second verse, he finds a level head to all of his problems. He mentions a lot of those involved with TDE, Top Dawg Dentertainment, such as Top, Dave Free, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Moosa, Ali, Ab-Soul, Punch, and Sounwave. He describes this feeling as "amazing/I'm feeding my cravings."
3. Pieces of Me
Most notable about this track from the beginning is the different minorities he incorporates, "What did the Asian say." He does this for Asians, Indians, blacks, and whites, but the difference in their "pieces" is what Kendrick is describing on this track. The Asian offered Kendrick a "peace of mind," the Indian offered Kendrick "a piece of land," and the black man offered Kendrick a "piece of p*ssy." However, the white man is where Kendirck finds his battle, as they take "a piece of mine's." This part suggest that the white man is taking a piece of Kendrick to capitalize from his talents, "He put a price on my talent, I hit the bank and withdraw."
One of the most notable lines from this track happens to be "head is the future," which describes the main point of this track, free thinking. The "head" that is spoken of refers to both oral sex, but knowledge as well. While education may be the answer, the focus of the youth most of the time is "head." This track also encourages listeners to never question themselves or their actions, "Don't second guess yourself."
5. Bitter Flames
The main focus of this track is exploring the power disparities and social inequality amongst black Americans. The institutionalization that is bought against blacks everyday causes them to act upon their frustration, creating destructive behavior; "Somebody said you bumped your head and bled the floor/ Jumped into a pit of flames and burned to coal/ Drowned inside the lake outside, away you flow." This systematic mindset causes depression for Kendrick, making him drink uncontrollably, "See I'm living with anxiety, duckin' the sobriety," and question the America's system, "Why you wanna see a good man with a broken heart."
6. Let Me Explain
One of the dopest tracks on the album, featuring Cee-Lo Green, is written in the form of a pleas to a lover. He begins by questioning the perception and character of identity, ascribed to his Gemini horoscope sign, "These metamorphic supernatural forces dominate what I see/ A Gemini, duality personalities always conflict in me." But he tells her not to be afraid and that he can further explain his "evenly-odd" personality. He later tells this lover that he finds her attractive and that she shouldn't change or hide any details that may be seen as embarrassing, "Look how you think that my mystique is a round of applause/ And yours equally valued/ You stick out like an alien compared to those around you/ And that's alright because I like it."
This is the biggest song on the entire album, and is broken up into 3 parts. This track captures an emotional rush of some sort. The first part being the initial elation, which is why he describes everything that "won't get you high as this." The phrase "levitate" is used to surpass the initial emotions that Kendrick describes. The second part of this track is the inflated confidence, where he concludes that he "Hope it's evident that I inspired a thousand emcees to do better." The final part of this song is the "coming down." This part mocks the 'untitled 04' track, probably before he recorded the complete song.
8. Blue Faces
The only track on the album that initially had a title. This song is a cry of some sort that acknowledges the financial difficulties black Americans face, "Why so sad?/ Walking around with them blue faces/ She said I'm down on luck/ And it's something I gotta have/ Blue faces." The blue in this song describes both emotion and the "new money," blue hundred dollar bills. He establishes his success despite the sadness he sees due to lack of money in the hood..