Kendrick Lamar is at work on a “very urgent new album.” While he’s given no timetable for its release, this morning the Compton MC wiped his Instagram account, leaving only a cryptic “IV” image. Of course, Kendrick’s next album will be his fourth following 2015’s spectacular To Pimp A Butterfly.
Update: Kendrick has released a new single called “The Heart Part 4”. Listen here.
Additionally, veteran hip-hop producer The Alchemist posted the same image to his Instagram (though the post has since been deleted). He’s previously collaborated on tracks with Kendrick’s TDE label mates ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.
Speaking to the New York Times earlier this month, Kendrick said “how wayward things have gone within the past few months” has shifted his music’s focus back onto family and community, where the real changes begin. “To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem,” he explained. “I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore. We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”
When asked how this has manifested in his writing, he compared it to thinking about how a parent perceives their child as they grow older:
“This is what goes on in my mind as a writer. One day, I may have a little girl … She’s gonna grow up. She’s gonna be a child I adore, I’m gonna always love her, but she’s gonna reach that one point where she’s gonna start experiencing things. And she’s gonna say things or do things that you may not condone, but it’s the reality of it and you know she was always gonna get to that place. And it’s disturbing. But you have to accept it. You have to accept it and you have to have your own solutions to figure out how to handle the action and take action for it.
When I say ‘the little girl,’ it’s the analogy of accepting the moment when she grows up. We love women, we enjoy their company. At one point in time I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure — things that most men don’t want to hear. Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that’s how I want this album to feel.”
Next month, Kendrick is set to return to the stage as the Sunday night headliner of Coachella.