In the early hours of Thursday, March 23rd, Kendrick Lamar’s Instagram account was completely wiped clean. A few minutes later, a strange picture appeared, only consisting of the roman numerals “IV.” Immediately rumors started to fly that this could be in reference to a new studio album, which would be the fourth offering from the Compton-based rapper. Nothing was confirmed by him, nor his Top Dawg Entertainment counterparts, until the following day, when “The Heart Part 4” was released by the camp.
The new single, the rapper’s first release since 2016’s offering of ‘Untitled Unmastered‘, an album consisting of tracks that didn’t make the cut of his 2015 album, ‘To Pimp A Butterfly‘, is the fourth installment of a story that has taken place over the length of his career. Receiving rave reviews, and debuting at #1 on Billboard this week, the song contains a line that mentions April 7th as a possible date for a new record.
Fast forward to Thursday, March 30th and we now have another release from the rapper. This one comes in the form of a song, and video, for a track titled “HUMBLE.’ The track, produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, hits on a multitude of topics, none of which seem to be about actually staying humble.
Like his track, “The Heart Part 4” – the general consensus is that Mr. Lamar is taking a shot, or shots, at certain rappers in the industry that may not be using their image to the best of the ability, or doing the best that they can to advance their culture. Kendrick has of course taken on the role of a civil rights activist for the black community over the past few years, with his song Alright becoming a battle-cry for the oppressed and him putting on multiple benefit shows for his hometown of Compton.
The video for HUMBLE, directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies, depicts Kendrick as a sort of Young Pope, laying on tables covered in cash and surrounded by his friends at the Last Supper. The three-minute video is filled with fast cuts, symbolism, eye-popping cinematography, and is sure to be something that will take multiple viewings to fully digest.
While these last two releases still come without an official word from Top Dawg Entertainment or Kendrick himself, it is safe to assume that with this latest wave of new material, and the “April 7th” reference in his song, that we can be ready to expect something on the horizon for the 29-year-old rapper. Stay tuned for released tour dates from Kendrick.