Within the last four years since the release of his studio album, DAMN., fans have been pondering when and how Kendrick Lamar would musically reemerge. Today (Aug. 20), Compton’s lyrical menace not only announced that he’s currently working on his fifth studio album, but that it will also be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment, the label he helped bring to prominence for a decade and counting.
The revelation—which came by way of a written statement on a site called oklama.com—was succinct and delivered in the rapper’s signature and cryptic fashion. “As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” Kendrick wrote. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) August 20, 2021
The acclaimed wordsmith continued, adding, “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough,” he ended the note, signing off as “oklama” with a black and white photo of him working on music in a recording booth.
While Kendrick wouldn’t divulge any additional details regarding his plans following the aforementioned album, this news is sure to stir the pot and result in mounting speculation of what “life’s calling” he’s referring to and what he could possibly have up his sleeve moving forward. The one thing we do know is that the music world will surely be waiting and watching.
TDE’s own Top Dawg issued a statement of his own on Instagram, wishing Lamar nothing but success while reiterating the company’s goals around its artists and the future.
“With this being Dot’s last album on TDE, this is more of a VICTORY LAP, a celebration,” he wrote in the posted statement. “I know he will be successful in whatever it is he decides to do and will have our FULL support.
“As for Top Dawg Entertainment, we will continue to grow, develop and give artists the platform to expand into whatever way they choose.”
Read Kendrick’s full statement—presented as “nu thoughts”—below.
I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence.
I go months without a phone.
Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family.
While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.
As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.
There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.
Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all.
See you soon enough.