Kendrick Lamar’s newest project Untitled Unmastered caught fans by surprise on Thursday night. Perhaps an even bigger surprise? One of the credited co-producers for the song “untitled 07 | 2014 – 2016” is Egypt Dean, the 5-year-old son of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.
“As parents of creative children, this is an amazing day in music,” the couple said in an exclusive statement to EW. “We have always encouraged Egypt to create the music he feels, and as much as he has fun with it, he works very hard and is always practicing. There’s so many talented kids in the world, and we admire Kendrick for supporting the next generation of amazing artists. May we always cultivate and support the dreams of our children.”
The recording happened the week of Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. Egypt’s contribution begins at the 2:33 mark of the song, a synth break between two distinct parts of the song. Swizz Beatz shared a video of Egypt humming the instrumental line as they made their way to the studio. Keys writes on Instagram that Egypt “got up that morning humming a melody….. We went to the piano to find it….he picked it out by ear.”
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Swizz shared two more clips of Egypt in the studio, hovering over the keyboard and playing along.
Beatz captured the moment Egypt first heard the song and his contribution late Friday — including his reaction to a shout-out from Lamar; the 27-year-old Compton rapper begins a verse on the track by saying, “Young Egypt.”
Listen to Untitled Unmastered below, via Spotify.
Read EW’s first look at the project here.
Reporting by Kevin O’Donnell.