Rapper Kendrick Lamar shared an open letter on August 20 called "nu thoughts." The writing updated fans about his newest project, and revealed some bombshell information: the upcoming album will be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment.
Based in California, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) has been Lamar's label since 2004 and has released the entirety of his catalogue so far, aside from the rapper's first mixtape. Top Dawg also represents artists Isaiah Rashad, Ab-Soul, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, and more.
"As I produce my final TDE album," Lamar wrote in his online missive, "I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years... May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling."
Previously, Lamar denied rumors of a split with the label last year. In response to Lamar’s note, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, CEO and founder of Top Dawg Entertainment, wrote, “With this being Dot’s last album on TDE, this is more of a VICTORY LAP, a celebration. I know he will be successful in whatever it is he decides to do and will have our FULL support.”
Lamar signed his open letter as "oklama" and did not reveal any release date for his new album. However, the open letter concludes with the words, "See you soon enough," leading fans to speculate that the album could drop sometime in the near future. In fact, longtime TDE mixer MixedByAli claimed in November Lamar had enough material for six albums - suggesting the project is finished or near completion.
Lamar's last album was 2017's Damn. The record received critical acclaim and commercial success, winning a Pulitzer Prize in Music and a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2018. In the time since releasing the LP, Lamar oversaw and contributed to Marvel's Black Panther soundtrack and launched a new company with Dave Free called pgLang.
In more recent Kendrick news, cousin Baby Keem has announced a new single called "Family Ties" that will be assisted by Lamar. The new track is set to drop this Friday.
Read Kendrick Lamar's open letter 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. -oklama
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