Piece by piece, a picture of Kendrick Lamar’s highly anticipated follow-up to good kid, M.A.A.D. city is starting to materialize. The lead single, “The Blacker the Berry,” dropped in early February with a sound that touched up Lamar’s typical style with Yeezus aggression and righteous anger. A month later, Lamar announced the official release date: March 23, a time so much earlier than expected it almost amounted to a Beyoncé-style surprise.
Then, late Tuesday night, Lamar Instagrammed what looks like the official album art: a black-and-white picture of young shirtless young men drinking 40s and flashing cash on the lawn of the White House. Lamar included a poetic caption with the picture as well:
What else to do with all these enigmatic hints than wildly speculate? Combined with some of the provocative lyrics in both “The Blacker the Berry” and the still-untitled song Lamar debuted on the final episode of The Colbert Report, this art likely hints that the recent, highly publicized killings of unarmed black men by police officers (from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown) will be one of Lamar’s big subjects on the new album.
Other fuel for speculation: The iTunes preorder lists 16 tracks in its preorder, but only “The Blacker the Berry” is named. (The last track is apparently 12 minutes long, so this may mean another “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is coming.) The album is still listed as untitled. Could the Instagram caption be lyrics from the album, or even contain the official title (unless Lamar is going to stick with the postmodern no-name, that is)?
Also worth noting: good kid, M.A.A.D. city had two different album covers, so we could very well have another one coming. Keep your eyes peeled; Lamar has demonstrated in the lead-up to this album that he’s liable to drop information at any time.