Kendrick Lamar’s engineer hints new album might drop in 2021

Peony Hirwani
·2-min read
<p>File image: Kendrick Lamar performs onstage with SZA during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival</p> (Getty Images)

File image: Kendrick Lamar performs onstage with SZA during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival

(Getty Images)

American rapper Kendrick Lamar’s long-time engineer Derek Ali has hinted that the Grammy-winning artist may drop his much-anticipated studio LP in 2021.

In an interview with Complex, Top Dawg Entertainment’s MixedByAli gave a few insights regarding what kind of music we can anticipate from the Compton rapper.

He said: “I would say every album that he has dropped since [2012’s] Good Kid, M.A.A.D City has come with a different feeling, so just look forward to Kendrick obviously expressing himself in the most creative way – the most highest of the creative way,”

He added: “How he works, I’ve never seen it before. The recording process, the thought process of piecing an album together and sequencing it. Things like that is what keeps guys like me great. Watching his work ethic... You would expect someone like Kendrick to be at home and sitting back – nah, he still comes in on time and is punctual.”

While Ali did not confirm whether Lamar’s new album would drop this year, he did indicate that it could be released soon. “It might, it might, you never know,” he said. “I mean, sh*t.”

He also spoke about his work with American songwriter Baby Keem, and “Good Days” singer SZA.

Kendrick released his last record DAMN in 2017, which followed over two years on from his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly. Since then, fans have been waiting for the artist to release a new project.

In November 2020, Ali said: “For Kendrick alone, let me say I think we could put together like six albums.”

“Everyone [at TDE, Lamar’s label] is the same way: it’s all about just understanding that you could always do something better. It’s having that mindset to just strive for the best possible version of yourself.

“That’s Kendrick’s whole mind state, always striving to do better. Whether it’s recording a new verse – you know he would record a whole song and get one ad-lib back a month later because he doesn’t like how he breathed the ad-lib, y’know? He’s a true artist.”

In October 2020, Lamar likewise explained the reason behind “such noticeable gaps” between his album releases during an interview with Baby Keem for i-D.

He said:I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m gonna execute a new sound, I can’t do the same thing over and over,” he said. “I need something to get me excited. I see you get frustrated sometimes because you want some new sh*t.”

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