Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar has surprised his fans by releasing a new album, called untitled unmastered, that appears to be a companion piece to last year’s critically acclaimed and wildly popular masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly.

The new record, Kendrick’s fourth, is available to buy and stream from all major sites now. All of the eight tracks are called ‘untitled’, with calendar dates next to them which indicate when they were recorded. All tracks appear to have been recorded in 2013 or 2014, with the exception of the seventh track which appears to have been finished only this year.

Kendrick LamarKendrick Lamar in concert in 2015

The tracks on this new album do indeed bear the hallmarks of having been recorded at around the same time as To Pimp a Butterfly, infused with the same kind of politically aware lyrics and jazz-influenced sounds that made that record so well received.

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“I got a chamber of material from the album that I was in love [with], where sample clearances or something as simple as a deadline kept it off the album,” Lamar said in a recent interview after last month’s Grammys. “But I think probably close to 10 songs that I’m in love with that I’ll still play and still perform that didn’t make the cut.”

Lamar said that he’s been performing these ‘new’ tracks on late night TV shows in the States, including Stephen Colbert’s and Jimmy Fallon’s shows. When he played at the Grammys, he added a new verse that made reference to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.

LeBron James, the pro basketball player, told Lamar and his Top Dawg label boss Anthony Tiffith. The latter posted on social media two days ago giving a clue that untitled unmastered would be imminently released, saying “Ive decided 2 drop a project 1 day this week. I won’t say wut day or who.”

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