- untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
CRITIC SCORE
84
Based on 26 reviews
USER SCORE
81
Based on
638 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Pretty Much Amazing

A testament to hip-hop’s undeniable spearhead, Untitled Unmastered does away with excessive decadence. There is no flashiness on its facade, nor no grand showing as to how good the music is, it’s simply a collection of eight tracks recorded during the To Pimp A Butterfly sessions that demands to be lauded.

91
A.V. Club

It may be a while before Lamar releases a project with such low stakes again, so take Untitled for the casual gift that it is: a bonus disc that improbably holds up as an essential album in its own right.

90
Tiny Mix Tapes

What’s revealed by this new project ... is a fiercely independent artist escaping the trappings of hip-hop conventions, both mainstream and otherwise; he seeks ascetic salvation through intense introspection and, in the process, created a great release, no matter where it’s filed

90
FasterLouder

untitled’s 34 minutes are so crammed with ideas that they almost need to be read like poetry, with annotations, to be fully appreciated.

90
Paste

This isn’t just a collection of b-sides: this is Kendrick’s What If version of his own mythology, flaws as alternate histories, unrealized retcons.

90
The 405

Kendrick's untitled unmastered. ... stands well on its own as a cohesive gritty offering, but is better understood as an appendix to Kendrick's previous work, both sonically and conceptually.

88
HipHopDX

There is now a cavern between what Kendrick does and what everyone else does. His lane, his sound, is a roaring train with only he and his team as passengers.

86
Pitchfork

Its author tempts deeper reading, but his choices and the lack of entry points—no directional song titles, no grand proclamations, no promotion—leaving nothing to deal with but the music.

85
The Line of Best Fit

The power of Kendrick has always been his ability to see all sides of the world around him, especially those most rappers don’t dare immerse themselves in.

80
NOW Magazine
Musicians, filmmakers, writers: every artist laments the work that winds up on the cutting-room floor. The difference between Kendrick Lamar and the rest of us is that his extra material is actually worth listening to.
80
Drowned in Sound

The fact that even Kendrick’s rough drafts are sketches that the world feels the need to reckon with is just more proof of his brilliance.

80
Clash

It’s a confident and powerful statement, and one that underlines his complete and utter dominance of the genre at this moment.

80
NME
There are few unfamiliar messages and it’s all dense and considered, but never overwrought or explicitly angry. What really emerges is Kendrick's nuanced worldview: he knows he’s a big deal but resents his wealth and ego, and is constantly considering his standpoints on faith, police brutality and black America.
80
Mojo

The short length and minimal production means Untitled Unmastered occasionally lacks the dynamics of Lamar’s previous work, but it remains an enthralling postscript to his masterpiece.

80
DIY

To call ‘untitled unmastered.’ a follow-up would be unfair, but what it reveals is that rap’s most innovative has a lot more left in his locker.

80
Exclaim!

All said, untitled unmastered. is a brilliant mini-album that stands well on its own, but it works even better as a fascinating To Pimp a Butterfly appendix, expanding on and balancing the themes of that album both sonically and lyrically.

80
Spin

untitled unmastered. can feel like the clearing of a table, rather than a feast. But in this lies its power and greatest asset: With the stakes low, Lamar can air out his demons, have some fun, bask in the afterglow of the Grammys.

80
PopMatters

This doesn’t have the ramshackle, hastily-assembled feel of, say, The Life of Pablo. untitled may have an amount of unfinished, scattered ideas, yet it still feels essential and vital. 

80
XXL

The project may not be a tour-de-force, but it’s easily the best rap album of the year thus far and should hold listeners over until Kendrick’s next reach for hip-hop immortality.

80
AllMusic

untitled unmastered. is no mere offcut dump. It's as vital as anything else its maker has released.

80
No Ripcord

The tracks don’t have the cinematic grandeur of those that made that album, but the dark, stalking hypnosis of the ‘untitled’ tracks that didn’t make the cut only serve to further display Lamar’s stratified, multi-faceted genius.

80
Crack Magazine

Few rappers demand, and reward, such devotion—even from the most fervently agnostic.

80
God Is in the TV

Though this isn’t quite a brand new fully formed album of Kendrick Lamar material, it is certainly a wealthy insight into the mind and working of an artist who is quite rightly considered a genius, just without any of the added self-hype or media hysteria.

75
Consequence of Sound

Lamar delivered untitled unmastered. as if it were a whim, and yet it works as such a powerful statement of the duality of his existence — driven yet humble, fed up yet excited, frustrated yet joyful, casual yet serious.

70
Rolling Stone

There's brilliance in even Lamar's cast-offs, and an intimacy here that makes this more than just a gift for his ravenous fans --it's an illuminating look at a red-hot rapper's craft.

Mar 4, 2016*
BuffaloStaple
82
when kendrick's throwaway b-side compilation is better than the album of the life
Mar 4, 2016*
austincrane235
87
CORNROW KENNY. MARCH M.A.A.DNESS FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW. PIMP PIMP
Mar 4, 2016
TheSoftBulletin
86
untitled unmastered is exactly what Kendrick needed to do this year, he shows how much great work that he has left in him. This plays like an appetiser for what is about to come. A very solid EP showcasing the genius of Cornrow Kenny.
Mar 5, 2016
EMR
81
All of a sudden, the greatest artist of our generation releases a collection of demos from the TPAB sessions. As expected, the comotion was great and so is the result. This compilation clarifies the metamorphosis process that Kendrick went through in between GKMC and TPAB, as we see him rapping much more frequently here than on the final version of the album. Most of these tracks have the jazz essence that his sophomore album presented, but also show a less abstract and more structured quality ... read more
Mar 4, 2016
jpaps96
78
It sounds like, feels like, and is a collection of leftovers from the greatest project of our generation.
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March 4, 2016 / Release Date
Compilation / Format
Interscope, Aftermath, TDE / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
Tags
END OF YEAR LISTS
AllMusic
# 13 - Billboard
# 11 - Complex
# 8 - Crack Magazine
# 8 - Dummy
# 19 - Earbuddy
# 20 - Esquire (US)
# 13 - FasterLouder
# 11 - FLOOD
# 18 - For The Win
# 13 - Gorilla vs. Bear
# 18 - Hypebeast
# 45 - MOJO
# 22 - No Ripcord
# 80 - Noisey
# 7 - Passion of the Weiss
# 36 - Paste
# 23 - Pigeons & Planes
# 16 - Pitchfork
# 17 - PopMatters
# 15 - Pretty Much Amazing
# 33 - Q Magazine
# 3 - Red Bull
# 27 - Sound Opinions
# 20 - SPIN
# 40 - Stereogum
# 27 - The 405
# 13 - The Independent
# 15 - The Needle Drop
# 9 - The New Zealand Herald
# 46 - The Vinyl Factory
# 23 - The Wire
# 27 - Time Out London
# 15 - Treble
# 29 - Uncut
Track List
  1. untitled 01 08.19.2014
  2. untitled 02 06.23.2014
  3. untitled 03 05.28.2013
  4. untitled 04 08.14.2014
  5. untitled 05 09.21.2014
  6. untitled 06 06.30.2014
  7. untitled 07 2014 - 2016
  8. untitled 08 09.06.2014


Added on: March 3, 2016