Kendrick Lamar teased fans in 2021 with two guest features on Baby Keem’sThe Melodic Blue, rapping on “Family Ties” he was “smoking on Top 5” rapper lists. Since then, the only word regarding the Compton rapper and new music has been about his upcoming appearance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show – until now.
According to Billboard, Lamar’s first official single since 2018’s Black Panther soundtrack will arrive on February 4 or February 11. The second date is significant as K. Dot is set to join mentors Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Mary J. Blige on stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
“Both Kendrick Lamar and SZA have not released albums since 2017’s DAMN and Ctrl, respectively, though sources tell Billboard a Lamar single may arrive on Feb 4. or Feb. 11 before he plays the Super Bowl halftime show, while SZA’s sophomore effort is expected in the second quarter of the year,” the report reads.
The speculation about K. Dot’s new single comes months after his announcement the follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN would be his final album for Top Dawg Entertainment.
In a letter written last August, the rapper gave his flowers to TDE while acknowledging the time to move in a new direction.
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” he 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. 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.”
The move was praised by TDE founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith who responded with a letter of his own.
“The whole goal when we started this thing was to make music, make money, and make history,” he wrote. “We did those things 10 times over and then some. TDE and its artists have provided a way to end generational curses that we were all personally born into over the last 17 years in this business. 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.”