Kendrick Lamar dropped his surprise new song “The Heart Part 4” on streaming services Thursday night, just hours after the rapper hinted at the impending arrival of new music in a since-deleted Instagram post.
The track, Lamar’s first solo release since his 2016 outtakes LP untitled unmastered, opens with Lamar repeating “Don’t tell a lie on me/ I won’t tell the truth about you” over a swirling vocal loop courtesy of up-and-coming singer Khaled, who tweeted about his contribution.
After repeating the chorus once more, “The Heart Part 4” makes a sudden shift and Lamar increases the intensity, threatening an unnamed adversary, “My fans can’t wait for me to son ya punk ass and crush your whole lil shit/ I’ll Big Pun ya punk ass, you a scared little bitch.”
Midway through Lamar’s ferocious, seemingly endless second verse, the rapper takes aim at the new president and his administration’s Russia problem. “Niggas is fake rich/ Bitches is fake bad/ Blacks that act white/ Whites that do the dab,” Lamar says. “Donald Trump is a chump, know how we feel, punk/ Tell ’em God comin’/ And Russia needs a replay button, y’all up to something.”
The track concludes with the lines, “You know what time it is, ante up, this is in forever/ Y’all got ’til April the 7th to get your shit together,” leading to speculation that Lamar plans on releasing new music, potentially his fourth album, in two weeks time.
As its title suggests, “The Heart Part 4” is the fourth installation of Lamar’s “Heart” tracks: “Part 1” appeared on the rapper’s 2009 collection KDot Drops, with “Part 2” appearing on the 2010 mixtape Overly Dedicated. “The Heart Pt. 3 (Will You Let It Die?)” arrived a few days before Lamar released his breakout good kid, m.A.A.d. city, which further cements the new album theory.
In a recent interview with the New York Times’ T Magazine, Lamar discussed his follow-up to To Pimp a Butterfly, calling the LP a “very urgent” record.
“I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork. To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore,” Lamar added. “We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”