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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.

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.

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


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


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.
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.


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

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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

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.

Crack Magazine

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

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.

The Needle Drop

kendrick lamar. new album. untitled. unmastered.

The Observer

That’s the nature of the release – the relaxed flipside to the ambitious, self-conscious statement of To Pimp a Butterfly, a collection whose understatement allows different facets of Lamar’s talent to shine.


For most artists, 'untitled unmastered.' would be a career high-point. For Kendrick, it's just a step on the way.

FLOOD Magazine

Even a compilation of demos from the past three years of recording sessions, slipped into countless television appearances, bears a striking coherence.

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.

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.

Even Kendrick Lamar’s B-Sides are better than than most rappers’ best albums
untitled review 01 | 04.11.2020

Untitled unmastered is generally considered as one of the most underrated albums of the 2010s Hip-Hop scene. Even with the high caliber Kendrick Lamar holds, this 2016 compilation is often overlooked, being perceived as just a "B-Side album". Yet, despite similar stylistic routes to his 2015, CLASSIC CD, MASTERPIECE BABYYYYY, this album is able to form its own eerie and personal identity.

Songs here allow us to dig deeper into Kendrick's state of ... read more
☆☆☆☆ 1/2

This isn't really a review of the album, I'm just gonna use this as an opportunity to talk about Kendrick Lamar himself, his legacy... everything

This is a short Kendrick Lamar appreciation post! ❤️♥️💗 💓💕💖💛💙💜💚

Someone who's been birthed as an indie sensation and by the end of the 2010's has been consistently praised as one of the greatest rappers of all time, under his belt we have a handful of some of the most praised Hip-Hop albums ... read more
When was 62 suddenly a bad score? The album has some great songs but it also has a lot of pointless boring snoozers
Glad a TPAB B-Sides record exists, cause this is incredible.
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Added on: March 3, 2016