“Y’all got ’til April the 7th to get your shit together,” Kendrick Lamar warned on his surprise single “The Heart Part 4,” and the rapper wasn’t joking around (though a little prematurely). On Tuesday, Lamar revealed the title, track list and artwork for Damn., the much anticipated follow-up to 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly set for release on Friday, April 14th.
Lamar posted the album artwork for Damn. on Instagram and Twitter. The album is slated to contain 13 tracks, with Rihanna, who contributes to a song titled “Loyalty,” and U2, who appear on “Xxx,” as the only credited guests.
Though “The Heart Part 4” is not included on the Damn. track list, Lamar’s recently released single “Humble,” produced by Mike Will Made-It, made the cut. “Humble” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week. It’s the first rap song to debut that high since 2010, when Eminem landed at No. 2 with the Rihanna collaboration “Love the Way You Lie.”
Following the release of To Pimp a Butterfly – Rolling Stone‘s pick for Best Album of 2015 – Lamar dug through that album’s recording sessions for untitled unmastered, a collection of eight tracks work-shopped during a three-year stretch between Lamar’s breakout major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city and To Pimp a Butterfly.
Lamar also upped his guest features, appearing everywhere from pop singles courtesy of Maroon 5, Sia, the Weeknd and Beyonce to tracks by Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, Thundercat and Danny Brown.
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 said.
“We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God,” he added. “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.”
That religious undercurrent was especially evident on “Humble,” another surprise single that Lamar dropped with little warning. Unlike “The Heart Part 4,” which was an audio-only release, the Mike Will Made-It-produced “Humble” arrive accompanied by a powerful music video, suggesting it would likely be incorporated into a larger project.
05. “ROYALTY.” (feat. Rihanna)
10. “XXX.” (feat. U2)