The First Time VIBE Heard Kendrick Lamar’s New ‘Untitled’ Song

On Thursday (Dec 16) night Kendrick Lamar impacted the airwaves with another breath of fresh air. Debuting his latest song on The Colbert Report, K. Dot followed up his refreshing single “i” with a jazzy number that is also free of hip-hop cliches, tough guy posturing and nonsensical rhymes. The as-of-yet titled song also featured background vocals from Bilal and the musical stylings of Terrace Martin on the sax. The VIBE staff was both moved and empowered by K.Dot’s latest record. Here, a handful of our squad gives their first reactions song down after one listen.

“The good kid ain’t a boy anymore. Backed by the sounds of Terrace Martin on the sax and Bilal with background vocals, Kendrick Lamar tackles race issues in all colors at a super-relevant time. It has the makings of a protest anthem but isn’t aggressively Fight The Power! Instead, it’s a snappy, spoken-word-esque jam session with a real message: “Holla at what you do, what you say/ I shall enjoy the fruits of my labor if I get free today/ What the black man say/ Tell ‘em we don’t die, we multiply!” Need more of this K.Dot for my personal supply STAT.” — Adelle Platon, Associate Editor

“Kendrick takes aim at the commercialization of hip-hop, in a similar vein as J. Cole’s “Fire Squad.” But instead of controversial name-dropping, K. Dot paints the plight of a musical slave that is reduced to a $10.99 CD. Reminded me of Q-Tip’s comment following the Ferguson decision: “they extrapolate our magic, sweat, our voice our fire.” Also, never been so proud of a line from Bebe’s Kids in my life. Thank you, Kendrick.” – Iyana Robertson, News Editor

“K. Dot’s new joint couldn’t have come at a more fitting time. After promoting “self love” on “i,” King Kendrick opens up listeners’ minds even more with an awakening song about breaking free of stereotypes and robotic thinking. I actually think that his choice to tell fans the song was still “untitled” might be a part of his master plan. It leaves the record up for even more indepth interpreation. What exactly was on Kendrick’s mind when he penned this track?” – Mikey Fresh, Music Editor

“With Kendrick Lamar, hip hop’s modern day magician, you never quite know what you’ll get when he takes the stage to share something new. All you know is that he’s leaving some part of his soul on the floor. His new joint takes us right to the feel of Love Jones’ infamous poetry slam scene. From the isolated finger snaps and minimalistic piano keys to the tap tap of the drums and shrillness of the woman’s adlibs, every component of Kendrick’s set is a different instrument building a climax behind his voice.

A common quote from K.Dot interviews is that he is always a student first. This untitled gem is a living testament of his words. He pulls advice from different demographics and walks of life on the perspective of power. For the Asians, it’s a peace of mind. The Indians say it’s planting your seeds, literally. The black man tells him nookie is power and, expectedly, the white man insists in profits over all the above. Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from his bluesy yet stirring selection is that his people—black people—don’t die, they just multiply. And given the climate of race relations in America, his message couldn’t be more timely.” – Stacy-Ann Ellis, Staff Writer