December 16, 2016
Listen: Kendrick Lamar Surprises With New Track, 'The Blacker The Berry,' Out Of Nowhere

Kendrick Lamar fans can rejoice: One of the best rappers working right now has dropped a surprise new track, "The Blacker The Berry." Lamar's newest track will likely rekindle hopes that the Compton-born rapper will release a new album in the near future, something Kendrick fans have been anticipating for months now.

Shout outs being necessary for this sort of thing, fans must tip the hat to Tumblr user King Jaffe Joffer, who hipped the world to the hype new release from Kendrick Lamar. It comes by way of the YouTube channel for Top Dawg Entertainment, which is remembered from promises and reports last year that a new Kendrick Lamar album would see release by September of last year.

Those promises didn't materialize, of course, and the most Lamar's fans got was a few Kendrick guest spots and the somehow both dark and ebullient "i," which recently won Best Rap Performance at this year's Grammys.

"The Blacker The Berry" finds Lamar on a different track from "i," growling into the microphone about the state of African-Americans, and hinting at a hypocrisy that's only revealed in the last few bars. The track does deliver one of Lamar's promises, though: it's definitely darker than much of what we've seen from him in the past. Last year, speaking about his forthcoming follow up to Good Kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar said that he would be going for a darker tone on the as yet untitled album.

Even without a new album, Kendrick's 2014 was a solid year. The rapper took the stage at last year's Grammy Awards and delivered a rocking performance alongside fellow Interscope label mates, Imagine Dragons. That performance made bigger headlines than most of the awards handed out on the night, and the single of the Kendrick-Dragons collaboration shot up the charts on iTunes shortly after release.

Later in the year, music lovers were treated to one of the more unlikely crossovers, with Kendrick doing an impromptu cover of pop princess Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" on K104's Dede In The Morning show.That crossover was reciprocated from Taylor's end as well, with Swift rapping a few bars from Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle" in celebration of her latest album's sales.No word on if fans can expect a Kendrick Lamar-Taylor Swift collaboration any time in the near future, but "The Blacker The Berry" ought to satisfy some appetites for the time being. The new track doesn't come with any other word on just when fans might expect a new Kendrick Lamar album, but it is evidence that Lamar is in the studio, and fans of the Compton emcee can salivate over just what the album might sound like given the wide gulf in soundscapes between "The Blacker The Berry" and "i."

[Lead image via MP3Wax.]