Kendrick Lamar has wiped his entire Instagram page clean, leaving one simple Roman numeral as the only image left. The ‘IV’, meaning 4 in numerals, was posted in the early hours of the morning (March 23rd). There was no caption to accompany the post.
Fans are already saying that the ‘IV’ could be a cryptic reference to Lamar’s next studio album - which would be his fourth project. Kendrick’s debut album, Section.80 was released in 2011, and was followed by Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City in 2012, and To Pimp A Butterfly in 2015.
In a recent interview, Lamar revealed some information about his next project. He described the work as ‘urgent’, and said that his focus had shifted. Kendrick said: “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.”
At this time, there is no information on the album title or the release date - but the IV could hint at an April release date since it’s also the fourth month of the year. Fans will be hungry for completely new music. Since his 2015 To Pimp A Butterfly, most major artists have released albums. Drake has released 4 projects in that time. In a climate where artists are constantly churning out new music to remain relevant, Kendrick relies on the raw quality of his output to keep him at the top of the game.
Last month, the vinyl used for the original production of ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ was added to the Harvard Library in acknowledgement of its cultural significance. Very little is known about whether Kendrick will continue along the lines of jazz and funk. The artist grants few interviews and, again a unique move in a self-promotion heavy industry - he isn’t very active on social media.
However after the release of ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, he did reveal this: “I know exactly what I want to say next. Everything is going to make sense – not only to myself but to anybody who wants to understand life and music. Everything will make a little more sense.”
Despite the fact that he has not released a major album in his own name in two years, Kendrick has still contributed to many other artists, most recently adding a guest verse to The Weeknd’ ‘Sidewalks’. Speaking about the collaboration, The Weeknd simply said that Kendrick is “a genius. He is really a genius”.
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